Phone calls concerning fines for missing jury duty have been going around, and the West Virginia Attorney General is warning people that it is a scam.
According to WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the scammers claim to be a representative of the local sheriff's department. The caller claims that the victim was summoned for jury duty and missed the assigned date. The scammer then tells the victim that if the fine is not paid immediately, it will increase or a warrant will be issued for the victim's arrest.
The caller asks for the victims bank routing number or credit card information in order to pay the fine immediately. The scammers are also known to ask the victim to buy a money order or pre-paid debit card and send it the a "collection agency."
"This is a particularly egregious scam in that it plays on people's confusion and nervousness about serving as a juror," said Morrisey. "It truly targets people who want to participate in the American justice system in asked."
"Scammers are trying to use high-pressure scare tactics to pad their wallet and unfortunately empty yours," added Morrisey. "Honest West Virginians have received these calls, and some of them thought they were doing the right thing by paying the scammers."
Morrisey said that citizens who receive a call like this should collect as much information as they can from the caller. Citizens then should call their local circuit clerk's office and sheriff's department to verify that they haven't missed a jury summons. If the call turns out to be false, citizens should file a report with local law enforcement and the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808.
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Another scam was reported to us by a viewer on March 18th.
He told us he was contacted by someone posing as the Federal Grant Department who said he had been randomly selected to receive $9,000 in grant money.
The message then gave him an ID number and told him to call 202-738-1532.
When he provided that number, he was asked to send money through Western Union.
He tells us he hung up, and if you receive this call, you should too!
WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said it's common for scammers to pose as federal agencies.
He also said, "If it seems too good to be true, it usually is."
If you have been a victim of this or any other scam, visit the link below to file a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.