Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Alerts Residents To Recent Increase In Jury Duty Scams
Jun 12, 2018 06:53AM
By Theresa Gilman
(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.)
MEDFORD, Mass. – The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) is warning residents of a new round of scam calls threatening citizens with arrest for failing to appear for jury and/or grand jury service. The MSO has been made aware of dozens of scam calls made to Middlesex County residents over the past week. In one instance, a local resident lost in excess of $1,500 believing the threats made by the scammers were real.
On these calls, scammers pose as members of the MSO or court staff. They falsely inform residents that they have missed jury duty and are subject to arrest unless they pay a fine. Frequently, the scammers will ask that residents pay this fine by purchasing a pre-paid debit or gift card and providing the scammer with the card’s code. This allows them to utilize the funds on the card without a trace.
“Threatening arrest is a tactic used by these perpetrators to scare innocent residents,” said Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “We want everyone to be aware of these scams in order to better protect themselves. Never, under any circumstances, will law enforcement ask you to pay a fine through gift cards.”
Anyone who may have received similar calls is encouraged to report them to their local police department and the MSO Digital Forensics Unit at 978-932-3292. They may also file a complaint online with the Federal Communications Commission using their Consumer Complaint Center.