Elaborate scam seeks money from residents for 'missed jury duty'

November 09, 2017


First appeared in Hawaii News Now

Shelley Johnstone said she saw plenty of red flags when a man who purportedly worked at the federal courthouse called her last month to tell her there was a bench warrant for her arrest.

The Punchbowl area resident said the man told her the warrant was for not showing up for jury duty and that she had to pay nearly $2,000 to clear up the matter.

In hindsight, she said it was all part of an elaborate type of scam, which are on the rise in the islands.

“So many people have experienced this. ... So many people tell me I had a scam, my mother had a scam call,” she said.

The federal and state court officials have recently issued warnings about jury scams. And Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau said that in the past week it received similar complaints from three local consumers.

“The one thing people have to remember is you will never get a phone call from the government or the court system, saying that you must pay money or you must give us a card number over the phone or we’re going to put you in jail,” said Gregory Dunn, CEO of the BBB.

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