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Virginia Sheriffs' Institute
Supporting Virginia’s Sheriffs & Deputies

The Newport News Sheriff’s Office is advising people to watch out for the latest version of the jury duty phone scam.

A Newport News woman nearly lost $900 to it. She thought the call was legitimate because the phone number indicated it was coming from the Newport News Sheriff’s Office, explained Major David Hughes.

Thankfully, an alert store clerk convinced her not to send the money and to check with the Sheriff’s Office. She did just that and Major Hughes was able to confirm the call was a scam to get her money.

Scammers are always working to make their calls appear legitimate.  Here are some tips to avoid falling victim to the jury duty phone scam:

  • ALL communication about jury duty is done through the mail.
  • No Sheriff’s Office or Courts personnel will ever call and threaten you with arrest for missing jury duty.
  • No Sheriff’s Office or Courts personnel will demand money so you can avoid being arrested or to make a warrant go away.
  • If you get a call like this, hang up.
  • Do not rely on caller ID to help you decide if a call is legit.
  • Call the law enforcement agency being cited or the Courts to verify what you’ve been told.
  • Avoid the urge to pay over the phone, especially if you’re being asked to pay a fairly small amount of money.

Sign up to receive scam alerts on the Virginia Attorney General’s website  and the Federal Trade Commission website.