North Texans are being warned to be on alert for scam phone calls that are apparently involving a warrant for missing jury duty.
Callers are claiming to be from sheriff's departments, U.S. Marshals Service Office, court officers and other law enforcement agencies, according to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.
During the calls, scammers try to collect a fraudulent fine, so victims can ward off arrest for failing to report for jury duty. The callers tell their victims they must purchase a prepaid debit card, such as a Green Dot card or gift card, and read the card number over the phone.
People are being urged to report the phone calls to local police, sheriff's office, U.S. Marshals Service office and the Federal Trade Commission.
Scammers may try to use a host of scare tactics to lure victims into paying these fake fines, the news release said. You may be told about fake badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and judges and courthouse addresses.
"Legitimate court employees and other law enforcement officials will never call to solicit this type of personal or financial information from you," Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown said in the statement. "The Sheriff's Office won't ask for a credit/debit or gift card number or bank routing numbers or ask for funds to be wired for any purpose. If the caller is urging you to provide this type of information or any other personal or financial information, hang up and report the call to your local police authorities and the FTC. You can even report to both agencies anonymously."
Officials said to keep these main points in mind when you receive a suspicious call:
- Law Enforcement will never ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
- Do not divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
- Report scam phone calls to your local police authority, Sheriff's Office or local U.S. Marshals Service Office and to the FTC.
- Authenticate the call by calling the Dallas County Jury Services Office or the clerk of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the court order given by the caller.