Jury duty scam gets more convincing

Published On: Jun 12 2014 01:07:07 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 12 2014 03:25:55 PM CDT
FactFinder 12 Don't Fall For It

For months, Eyewitness news has warned you about a jury duty scam across Kansas. Now, there's a new twist that makes the story seem even more believable.

The scam works like this:  Someone calls you and claims to be from the Sedgwick County Jail.  The caller says you missed jury duty and there's a warrant for your arrest.  Fork over several hundred dollars right now, or deputies are on the way to your house to haul you to jail.

"What's different this time is the person who called them and the phone number on the caller ID showed Sheriff Administration, a very real phone number."

Lt. David Mattingly says in less than 24 hours the sheriff's office received at least a half dozen complaints.  Not only are they using the real phone number, the callers use the names of actual sheriff's deputies to appear even more legit.

Mattingly says there are spoofing apps on the market that allow someone to change their caller ID to any number they want.  It's another example of how they evolve to stay a step ahead of law enforcement.

For consumers the bottom line is this: The sheriff's office does not accept for any reason money over the phone for fines or warrants.  "Those things don't happen," says Mattingly.

Sharon Werner of the DA's Consumer Fraud Division says these cases are extremely hard to prosecute because the crooks are often in another country and almost impossible to track down.  Nonetheless she encourages everyone who gets a call like this to report it because the information is tracked by the feds.