Jury phone scam takes on debit card twist

07/04/2014 4:54 PM

07/04/2014 4:55 PM

Tarrant County residents are being warned not to fall for a phone scam in which the caller accuses them of missing jury duty and offers the option of paying a fine with a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot money card.

The use of the prepaid cards is a new tactic, said Terry Grisham, a spokesman for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department.

The callers use the names of real county officials to give the scam an air of authenticity. Officials believe the scammers are getting the names off the county website.

If a warrant really is issued for failure to appear for jury duty, a uniformed officer will serve it in person, county Jury Bailiff Paula Morales said.

“If an officer contacts you by phone, it would be to instruct you to immediately report to the jury room or to a court in order to avoid potential sanctions,” she said in a statement on the county website. “No money is ever requested or collected over the phone for failure to report for jury duty.”

A judge would hand down any fines after whoever missed jury duty appeared in person, she said.

Join the Discussion

Fort Worth Star-Telegram is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQ | Terms of Service