Jury duty phone call a scam

Published 8:33 pm Tuesday, May 13, 2014

If residents get a call from a sheriff’s deputy accusing them of not going to jury duty in Decatur County, know it is a recent scam that has tricked several people into giving over payments in fear of being arrested.
Officials with the court system believe someone is trying to collect money by targeting the elderly in Decatur County, calling them and asking for fine payments because they did not show up for their jury duty.
“If anyone calls you to tell you that you missed jury duty, know that is a fake call,” Decatur County Clerk of Superior Court Cecilia Willis said. “Contact the sheriff’s department if someone contacts you by phone to tell you about missing jury duty.”
Willis said they have had several older residents come into the court complaining about the phone calls, which they did not know were scams. The callers were identifying themselves as sheriff’s deputies and were asking for payments from green dot cards when they told the residents they would have to pay fines for not showing up to court.
They threatened to arrest the elderly residents if they did not pay.
Willis said if a resident in the county missed their jury duty, they would be visited in person by a law officer, but would not be arrested. The law officer would just tell them when they would need to appear next for jury duty.
“I think the reason this happened this last week is because whoever is doing this knew we were going to be in court,” Willis said. “What upsets me is they are targeting elderly people who have always felt the need to participate in their civic duties, but are being threatened with some sort of fine that they can pay with their green dot cards.”
If any residents receive suspicious phone calls claiming they did not show up to jury duty and they now have to pay a fee, call the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department and report the phone call.
For those that would like to clarify if they are being summoned as a juror, call the clerk of court, (229)-248-3025.