Jury Scam Re-Appears

A phone scam involving a call about missing jury duty has re-appeared. In August, the U.S. Marshall’s Office issued a warning on this scam and Thursday, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office issued an advisory saying some one is again making calls and asking for money in order to avoid arrest.

During the scam, a person purporting to be a representative of the sheriff’s office or other law enforcement telephones a citizen to inform them that they have failed to appear for jury service, for “grand jury duty” or for some other offense, and that because of this failure to appear a warrant will be (or has been) issued for their arrest.

The perpetrator even goes so far as to advise potential victims that they should appear in a courtroom on a specific time and date concerning the warrant.

The caller next advises that to avoid arrest and erase (or “quash”) the warrant they must pay a sum of money via a prepaid card, such as Green Dot prepaid Visa or MasterCard debit card, MoneyPak card, etc. The common amount specified seems to be $2,000.

Those who have received these “warnings” have reported that the caller sounds “credible… believable.” In the Kitsap County cases, he reportedly identifies himself as “Stephen Davenport, a court
investigator with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department.”

fake-kitsap-county-idIn several instances, an image of a supposed sheriff’s identification card of ‘Stephen Davenport” was sent by text message to potential victims.

Authorities want residents to know this is a con… swindle… trick!

In reality:
·  County Sheriff’s Offices have no role in jury administration. Court services and jury administration are under the sole purview of the county clerk.
· All communications regarding jury duty are sent to county residents in writing.
· Neither the sheriff’s office nor the county clerk’s office (or any department of county government) will initiate telephone communications with residents about jury duty, nor threaten anyone missing jury duty. Warrants of arrest are not issued for failure to appear for jury duty service.
· And, lastly: as a practical tip for personal protection and safety, do not ever send money in any form (check, prepaid card, money order, gift card, cash, etc.) to persons whom you don’t know personally or whom you haven’t entered into a business relationship.

Additional information: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2006/june/jury_scam060206