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Jury Duty Phone Scams Continue With New Twist

by Brett M. Christensen

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.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,