Be aware of the latest jury duty scam

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 28, 2020

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FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office reminds the public that it does not dismiss warrants for arrest in exchange for payment.

Despite the fact that no new juries have been selected since Chief Supreme Court Justice Beasley issued an order with emergency directives on March 19 — and recently announced there would be no jury trials until at least August — the jury duty scams continue.

Most recently, scammers claiming they are with the “Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department” are calling individuals to tell them they missed jury duty; the scammers are using official terms like “bench warrant” and “failure to appear” and “contempt of court,” as well as referencing Judge L. Todd Burke by name. There are various names and ranks being used by the scammers but what remains consistent is that individuals are instructed to put money (usually well over $1,000) on a pre-paid money card then provide the number of that card to the “deputy” via phone, then mail the card to an address.

The scammers are providing the phone number 336-631-4531, which has a recorded message indicating callers have reached the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department, complete with numeric options so the caller can select different divisions. Additionally, the scammers in this particular scam do not have foreign accents.

The FCSO urges the public to never provide money via pre-paid money cards to individuals over the phone. FCSO never excuses a warrant for arrest in exchange for payment. It never wants to see our community members bullied into giving their hard-earned money to scammers.

If you are contacted by a deputy and you are unsure if it is a legitimate phone call, ask for the name and number to call them back. Then call the FCSO at 336-727-2112 and provide the deputy’s name and phone number; FCSO will be able to confirm if it is a valid phone call from one of the office’s deputies.

Anyone who has been contacted by a scammer should call the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office at 336-727-2112 or may contact Crimestoppers anonymously at 336-727-2800 for English or 336-728-3904 for Spanish.