The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office said they've received several reports of the Jury Duty Scam lately. (Source: WECT)
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -
A New Hanover County man says he lost $4,500 after falling victim to a scam. He did not want to share his name, but told us his story in hopes of stopping someone else from becoming a victim.
The man said someone claiming to be with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department called asking for his daughter. When she called back, he said he was a detective and there were warrants out in her name because she missed jury duty.
"He proceeds to tell her there are two warrants on her for not doing her jury duty and that he wanted to help her out, because if she gets stopped, even for a little traffic violation, they would lock her up, handcuff her and take her off immediately to jail because of the warrants,” said the man. “If her kids were in the car, they would take them to a foster home."
The scammer claimed if she paid thousands of dollars right away, the warrants would be canceled.
Not wanting his daughter to go to jail, the man did as the scammer said. He says he loaded $4,500 in cash on to prepaid cards and read the codes on the cards to the scammer. He said the scammer had told him that way he could "start the paperwork right away."
“He is good and he is very professional and he had me fooled,” the man said.
Now, he is speaking out, in hopes of stopping someone else from falling victim.
"If they get a call, call the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office to verify that this is a true statement, because I learned a lot from this,” he said. “In hindsight I learned a lot of things that I should have done but I didn't do, because I was in a panic for my daughter – she was in a panic and freaking out too, and in tears."
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. The agency said it has had several reports of the jury duty scam lately, and are reminding residents that they would never make you pay for a warrant over the phone. If you get a suspicious call, they said you can call the real sheriff's office 24 hours a day and talk to someone.
The North Carolina Department of Justice posted these warnings about the same scam:
Court officers won’t ask for personal information or seek payment for fines or fees over the phone. Most court related correspondence takes place through the mail.
Never agree to send money to someone who calls you out of the blue. Many scams ask you to wire money or send it via a Green Dot MoneyPak Card.
Never share personal information, such as your Social Security Number or bank account number, with anyone who contacts you.