Clerk of courts warns of jury scam



FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The Forsyth County clerk of courts is warning citizens not to fall for impersonators stating warrants have been issued for missing jury duty.

According to Forsyth County Clerk of Courts Greg G. Allen, callers from “spoofed” phone numbers are contacting residents posing as a Forsyth County deputy sheriff or a deputy clerk from his office.

The caller states, “You failed to report for jury duty and a warrant is being issued for your arrest.”

When residents respond that they never received a jury summons or notice to appear in court, the callers tell them that in order to avoid arrest and incarceration the fine can be paid by a “green dot card” purchased from a local drug store, typically a national chain. Green Dot cards, and other similar cards, are prepaid MasterCard and Visa cards available at stores throughout the United States.

The scam’s bold simplicity may be what makes it so effective, Allen said. Facing the unexpected threat of arrest, victims are caught off guard and may be quick to respond to avoid jail. “They get you scared first,” Allen said. “They get people saying, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m not a criminal. What’s going on?’ That’s when the scammer gives you a solution that will clear up the problem — a fine, payable by a green dot card over the phone.”

Allen said scammers that have been caught are typically already in prison, using smuggled smart phones to research and contact potential victims.

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