West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is alerting consumers to an emerging jury duty scam with an alarming twist.
The Attorney General’s Office received a report from the West Virginia Fusion Center earlier this week regarding a jury duty fine scam that may include a potential personal safety element.
“Scammers are constantly devising new schemes to scare consumers into giving them their money,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “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.”
A consumer in Kanawha County was contacted by a caller representing themself as being with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office. The call appeared to come from a legitimate Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office telephone number. The caller had the consumer’s work location, home address, work and cell phone numbers, and potential relatives prior to the consumer providing any sort of information.
The caller told the consumer they had failed to appear for jury duty and had multiple warrants out for their arrest. The consumer received instructions to meet at the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, in-person, and to bring $1,900 in bail money, to be paid either in cash or by debit card.
The West Virginia Fusion Center also recently received three additional reports from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office of scam calls involving similar spoofed calls appearing to be from law enforcement requesting payment for a supposed failure to appear for jury duty.
If consumers receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to represent law enforcement, they should check directly with the legitimate agency to confirm whether the call is authentic.
Anyone who believes they may have been affected by this scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.