Residents of Chatham County are being cautioned by the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office about a jury duty scam currently making the rounds.
The Sheriff’s Office said earlier this week that it has received several reports from residents who were contacted by scammers falsely posing as representatives of law enforcement and spoofing the Sheriff’s Office telephone number. In each case, the fraudulent caller informs the recipient that they have neglected their jury duty obligation and must pay a fine to prevent imminent arrest and incarceration. Several residents have reported that scammers have left voicemails when their calls were not answered.
The Sheriff’s Office says that if you receive such a call, hang up without providing any information about yourself or taking any action. If you have received such a voicemail, do not return the call. The callers use tactics such as pressuring residents to stay on the phone to purchase a money order, pre-paid debit card, or gift card, but you should resist and hang up. If asked, do not leave your home or place of work to meet the caller at any location.
Statewide, members of the public have reported being scammed out of thousands of dollars through jury duty scams. Per North Carolina statute the penalty for disobeying a jury summons is currently $50 for each time a juror fails to appear. In North Carolina, official jury summonses, as well as failure to appear notices, are always delivered to your home or post office box by first class mail.
“These deceptive individuals prey on the fear of arrest and exploit our sense of civic responsibility,” Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson said in a statement. “The Sheriff’s Office will never call you to demand payment for missed jury duty. If you receive such a call, please report it to our office immediately. Together we can protect our community from these fraudulent schemes.”
Chatham County residents should promptly report any suspicious calls or emails to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office at 919-542-2911.