Jury Duty Racket: Authorities working scam

Published on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 23:29 - Written by By Kenneth Dean kdean@tylerpaper.com

A jury duty scam in Smith County found more victims Wednesday, and officials with multiple agencies are working the case. 

Smith County Sheriff spokesman John Moore said the person responsible for the scam claims to be with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and is telling victims they owe fines for missing jury duty.

“This is a scam, and the person is not connected to the Sheriff’s Office,” Moore said.

The latest victim comes after two days of warnings from the department about the scam.

Moore said the case began when a man contacted a Whitehouse resident, saying they owed a fine for missing jury duty

He instructed the victim to go to a local pharmacy and buy a pre-paid money card and then call back with the numbers on the back of the card.

“The individual did as instructed but was then contacted again by the man, saying the card did not go through and that they would need to purchase another and call back with the new numbers. Before the person called back with the second set of numbers, they spoke with the Whitehouse Police Department who told them it was a scam,” he said.

Moore said everyone who receives a jury summons should report for jury duty as instructed, but no member of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency will contact someone and ask for a fine to be paid in this manner.

“No one is going to call you and ask you to pay fine with a money card. That just isn’t going to happen,” he said. 

Moore said there were no warrants for anyone missing jury duty in Smith County. 

If anyone receives a similar call, please contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 903-566-6600.