Newport News Sheriff’s Office warns about jury duty scam calls

Jury duty scam calls are being made and they seem very real and are often threatening.

One woman had her lawyer come to the NNSO offices and he asked to speak to an Officer Johnson.  He said his elderly client called him. She’d receiving a call from someone claiming to be Mr. Johnson with the Newport News Sheriff’s Office and he said she’d missed jury duty.  He wanted to find out what was going on.

Lt. Johnson assured him he did not call and that the call she received was a scam.  The lawyer was glad to know that and would relate information to the woman.  Checking out the call saved her from making a costly decision.

Several other people called to ask whether they had outstanding warrants for missing jury duty.

Other people aren’t so lucky. They have bought gift cards, sent money or paid other ways believing that will clear the matter up.

You know the scam: The caller identifies himself as law enforcement and says you’ll have to pay a fine and maybe go to jail for missing jury duty…unless. There’s always an unless.  The scammer says you can clear the matter up by paying money.  Sometimes, the caller directs you to wire the money; other times you’re told to buy a gift card and then call them with the card information.  A new twist being reported is that the scammer sends a QR code and you scan to pay.  Doing that can give the person access to your bank accounts.

The Jury Duty Scam happens year round, so it’s always a good time to remind people that they will NEVER receive calls or texts like these from law enforcement, a government agency, or the courts.

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