Jury duty phone scammers are now using the names of real police officers to make their claims more believable.
Criminals call potential victims and claim they have missed jury duty and must pay a fine at once. The criminals pose as law enforcement officers and demand that their victims pay with a prepaid money card or store gift card.
Victims Told To Buy Prepaid Money Cards or Gift Cards
The crooks tell victims to buy cards at the closest outlet and call back as soon as they arrive home. When they call, victims are asked to read the numbers on the back of the cards. The criminals will use the card numbers to drain funds from the prepaid money cards or buy goods or services with the gift cards.
The criminals are very skilled at bullying their victims into complying and they often target the elderly. They warn victims that if the supposed fine is not paid immediately, police will issue a warrant for their arrest and will soon arrive to take them to jail.
Scammers Using Names Of Real Police Officers
And, as noted, scammers are now using the names of real law enforcement officers.
In smaller communities, victims may recognise the name used by the scammer as that of a local police officer.
Or, before calling back with the card numbers, victims might do an online search for the officer’s name. Search results will display the name given by the scammer on the staff page for a local police department.
This extra “evidence” may be enough to convince victims that a scam call is legitimate.
If you receive such a call, tell the person you will call back later and hang up. Then, call your local police department. But, don’t use a number supplied by the scammer. Instead, find an official police department number via a phone directory or the department’s website.
If police are unaware of the issue raised by the caller, you’ll know the call was a scam. And, if the call was genuine, you can resolve the issue.
Police Will Never Call You and Ask For Immediate Payments
Police will never call and demand you pay a fine over the phone. Nor will they threaten you with arrest or jail time if you do not pay. And, government departments will never ask you to pay a fee using a prepaid debit card or store gift card.