Jury Duty Scam

You Don’t Have to Pay if You Miss Jury Duty
August 11, 2014

Rankin County residents have been receiving phone calls telling them that they have missed jury duty.BBB serving Mississippi is warning not only Rankin County residents but statewide residents that this is a scam. “These kind of scams move from one area to another” says John O’Hara CEO of BBB serving Mississippi “someone is spoofing the number that shows up on your caller ID – making it look like a local number, even though the caller is probably in another country.”

Rankin County residents have stated that the calls sound very official. One resident said that a gentleman identified himself as Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey and told them that they missed jury duty and the judge had issued a warrant for their arrest for failure to appear. Then, the man told the resident they owed nearly $1,000 in fines. If they didn’t pay, he’d send deputies to arrest them.

The caller offered a way to take care of the fine by purchasing a Green Dot MoneyPak Card, putting $1,000 on the card, then call back the phone number provided within an hour to pay those fines.

“If you receive a similar phone call, O’Hara says you should ask for the caller's name, address and telephone number. Say, ‘Let me check this out and I’ll call you back,’ but do not call the number they give you. Look them up online or call Directory Assistance to figure out if the company is legitimate. You should also never give someone your personal information. If someone tells you there’s a warrant out for your arrest or that you missed jury duty, call the courthouse or police in your area. Police will never ask for money in order to take care of a warrant.