CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning the public about a phone scam in which a person receives a call being threatened or any type of other punishment for missing jury duty.
“These calls can be unnerving. No one wants to get tangled up in legal issues, however it’s crucial to call local authorities when you receive such a call,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
Scammers would prey on innocent people telling them they have missed jury duty and in order to avoid arrest, they would have to make a payment.
“Scammers are constantly devising new schemes to scare consumers into giving them their money. If you get a suspicious call, even if it comes from a number that looks legitimate, don’t feel pressured to act immediately. Pause and give our office a call, it might save you from potentially being scammed,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
Scammers often pose as federal marshals and/or local law enforcement and use other means of posing as an authority figure.
Consumers can do a few things to avoid falling prey to these scammers:
- Be wary of any demand for payment via prepaid card or wire transfer.
- Never share personal information without verifying the identity of the recipient.
- Don’t trust a name or number just because it appears on caller ID.
- Be suspicious of off-hour phone calls and those from an unidentified number.
- Listen for inaccuracies as scammers may misrepresent a judge’s title and/or indicate the court is located where none exists.
Residents who receive a call like this should call their local circuit clerk’s office, sheriff’s office and/or federal courthouse to verify if they missed jury duty.
Anyone who believes they may have been affected by this scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808, or visit the office online at www.ago.wv.gov.