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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
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    Jury duty scammers find the perfect victim 

    By Greg Collier

    The jury duty scam is a fraudulent scheme where scammers impersonate officials from the legal system, typically claiming to represent a court or law enforcement agency. The scam often begins with a phone call or email informing the targeted individual that they have failed to appear for jury duty and now face legal consequences such as fines or even arrest warrants. To resolve the supposed issue, the scammer then requests sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers, financial details, or even payment for the fabricated penalties. These scams play on the fear of legal repercussions, catching victims off guard and coercing them into providing sensitive information or money to avoid fictitious consequences. If you go by the number of times this scam finds its way into headlines, it may be the most prolific scam going today.

    Recently, in the Atlanta Metro Area, scammers found a victim who had recently gone through an experience which made her the perfect victim for the jury duty scam. The scammers posed as her local police and told her she had missed jury duty. In this instance, they used the name of an actual police officer from that department. They told her a warrant was about to be issued for her arrest, but she could avoid that if she just paid a $3000 fine in Bitcoin. The victim deposited the money into a Bitcoin ATM that was in a local gas station. What made the victim more vulnerable to this scam than most was the fact she had just been excused from jury duty last month, so she thought the phony charge was somehow related to that. It was more than likely a coincidence that scammers found such a victim, as scammers typically cast the widest net possible in order to find as many victims as possible.

    If you receive any communication regarding jury duty, it is essential to independently verify its legitimacy. Contact your local courthouse or law enforcement agency directly using official contact information to confirm the authenticity of the message. Keep in mind that legitimate government entities do not employ aggressive tactics, issue threats, or demand immediate payments over the phone or through email. Should you suspect that you have become a target of a scam, promptly report the incident to your local law enforcement agency and the relevant authorities to ensure appropriate action is taken.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , jury duty scam, , pump switching, , subpoena   

    Scam Round Up: The gas pump switching scam and more 

    Scam Round Up: The gas pump switching scam and more

    By Greg Collier

    There’s a new version of the advance fee scam circulating on Facebook Marketplace. An advance fee scam is when a scammer promises something valuable for free then asks for some type of payment for things like taxes or shipping.

    In this case, scammers are offering a free laptop, but it comes with a sob story. The ad claims the seller bought their spouse a new ‘laptop pro’, but they caught their spouse cheating and want to give the laptop away as a form of punishment.

    The ad almost tips itself off as being a scam, since the gender of the spouse switches back and forth in the description.

    “I am giving out this laptop Pro that I bought to surprise my husband for her birthday but then caught her cheating on me,” the scammer wrote. “I know I could sell it and get my money back, but I want to show her I gave it away for nothing like her is to me.”

    The catch is, once someone responds to the ad, the seller asks for a $70 shipping fee, and the laptop is never delivered. Scammers are also using hijacked Facebook accounts. So if you see a friend listing this for sale, you may want to let them know.


    A new version of the jury duty scam has popped up in Florida, and its targets are more vulnerable than the typical jury duty scam victim. Instead of just calling people at random and threatening them with arrest for supposedly missing jury duty, scammers are now targeting people who have actually been subpoenaed.

    Subpoenas are a matter of public record, and scammers are using these records to target their victims. Like the jury duty scam, the scammers are posing as the local police or court system and demanding cash from victims to avoid arrest. The scammers are asking their victims to meet them in person.

    However, also like the jury duty scam, no law enforcement agency or court will ever call you and threaten you with arrest if you don’t make an immediate payment. If any kind of legal fine ever needs to paid, a person would be notified by mail.


    Police in the Philadelphia area are warning consumers about a gas pump scam. They call it the pump switching scam, and it starts when someone approaches a victim at the gas pumps and insists on pumping their gas for them. According to the police, the scammers are quite insistent about it.

    If a victim agrees to this, the scammer won’t return the nozzle to the pump and will continue to fill the tanks of people who drive up for $20 cash. This will continue until the victim’s card hits its limit or the police arrive.

    To protect yourself from this scam, always return the nozzle to the pump and end the transaction. You can also prepay inside the gas station. If you do pay at the pump, also make sure you print out a receipt.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: jury duty scam, , ,   

    Real police don’t give discounts 

    By Greg Collier

    Older generations used to have a fear drilled into them about missing jury duty. For the longest time, there was a type of reverence toward jury duty. No one wanted to do it, but no one wanted to go to jail either. Whether that fear was warranted remains to be seen, but that fear still seems to have a grip on people, and scammers are using it to their advantage.

    Yes, we’re discussing the jury duty scam again. As we’ve said before, it’s probably the most common scam going today. Just in researching for today’s post, we found around a dozen news stories where local police departments and sheriff’s offices were warning residents about the scam. It’s a form of a police impersonation scam. Scammers will pose as local police or the local courthouse while calling their victims to tell them they missed jury duty. Sometimes the scammers will say the victim has a warrant out for their arrest, or if the victim is a professional, they missed a court date where they were supposed to give expert witness testimony.

    The endgame is always the same, though, the victim can supposedly avoid jail time by paying a fine over the phone. Like most scams, this is done by gift cards, payment apps, or cryptocurrency, three forms of payment that neither courts nor police ever accept or ask for. Another thing the police or courts will never do is offer offenders a discount.

    That’s what happened to a Pennsylvania man recently when he got a call telling him he had missed federal jury duty. The call appeared to come from his local sheriff’s office, but any phone number can be spoofed.

    The scammers told the man if he didn’t pay $4900, patrol cars would show up at his home to take him to jail for 60 days. The man tried to withdraw the money from his bank, but the transaction was declined as the bank thought the man was being scammed. At this point, the scammers lowered the phony fine to $1000, which, unfortunately, the victim sent through the Zelle payment app.

    If you’ve ever had a traffic ticket or any kind of court cost, you may have been able to set up a payment arrangement if you don’t have all of the money at the time. But getting the fine talked down to a fifth of its original cost is virtually unheard of.

    If someone were to knowingly miss jury duty, they could be held in contempt of court, however, most jurisdictions do not send those people to jail. There will be a fine, but it’s unlikely it will be anywhere in the neighborhood of $5000. That notice will also be sent in the mail. When someone has an arrest warrant, police do not give them a courtesy call, they just show up unannounced. If you ever get one of these calls, ask the caller for their call back number, but call your local police department instead.

    If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be prepared if police impersonators ever call.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , jury duty scam, , ,   

    How common is the jury duty scam? 

    How common is the jury duty scam?

    By Greg Collier

    We often say the most common scam we see in the news is the jury duty scam. Hardly a day goes by where we don’t see a police department or sheriff’s office warning their local residents about police imposters who are trying to trick victims out of their money.

    The jury duty scam is a type of fraud where scammers attempt to deceive individuals by posing as law enforcement officials or court representatives. They typically target people through phone calls claiming that the recipient has missed jury duty and is now facing legal consequences. The scammers then ask their victims to pay a fictitious fine that supposedly clears the arrest warrant.

    But the scammers don’t want you to go to the courthouse to pay the fine. They want their payment then and there, usually through payment apps like Zelle and Venmo, gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or cryptocurrency.

    Just in the past 24 hours, we’ve seen jury duty scam warnings from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, In Florida, the Annapolis Police Department, in Maryland, the Louisiana State Police, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, in Kansas, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, in Montana, and the Mansfield Division of Police, in Ohio. Tomorrow, it could be another six police departments or more. If the scam hasn’t made it to your city or town, it’s probably on its way.

    If you receive a communication about jury duty, contact your local courthouse or law enforcement agency directly using official contact information to confirm its authenticity. Remember that legitimate government entities will not use aggressive tactics, threats, or demand immediate payments over the phone or email. If you suspect you’ve been targeted by a scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency and relevant authorities.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply
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    Scam Round Up: Weird AI scam and more 

    Scam Round Up: Weird AI scam and more

    By Greg Collier

    Our first scam comes to us from Athens, Texas, where residents have been experiencing a twist in the arrest warrant scam, also known as a police impersonation scam. Typically, when scammers pose as police, they’ll call their intended victims and tell them they have a warrant out for their arrest, The scammers usually claim this for missed jury duty, but they can also claim a number of other infractions.

    For example, residents of Athens have complained the scammers are accusing their victims of using their phone to transmit a photo that traumatized a child. Essentially, the scammers accused their victims of sending explicit material to a child. The victim is then asked to pay several hundred dollars over the phone to resolve the complaint.

    That’s not how arrest warrants work. If there is a warrant for your arrest, especially one that’s supposedly this serious, the police are not going to call you over the phone. Also, no law enforcement agency will ask for money over the phone, and then ask for it in unusual ways, like gift cards or cryptocurrency, just to name a few.

    If you receive a call like this, hang up and call your local police at their emergency number. Not only can you verify there is no warrant for your arrest, you can let the police know scammers are working in your area.


    Police in Connecticut are warning residents there has been an uptick in check washing. Check washing typically involves stealing checks that are in outgoing mail. Thieves often steal the mail from residential mailboxes, along with the outdoor drop-off boxes used by the US Postal Service. They then dip the written checks in a chemical solution that removes the ink from the check, so the thieves can write the checks to themselves.

    The police in Connecticut are also warning residents the thieves can steal checks out of your trash. If you use your bank’s mobile app to deposit checks, and then throw the checks out, make sure they’re properly shredded before throwing them out, as check washing can still be performed on voided checks.

    If you have to write a check, which is going in the mail, use a gel-based ink pen. The ink in gel pens is said to be more resistant to check washing. Also, don’t put the envelope that holds the check in your mailbox and the put the mailbox flag up. This is a signal to thieves there may be a check in there.


    Lastly, we’ve read about another AI voice-spoofing scam. There has been a rash of these scams nationwide over the past year or so. In this scam, the victim gets a phone call where the voice sounds like exactly like one of the victim’s loved ones. The scammers manipulate the loved one’s voice in such a way where it sounds like the actual loved one is in some kind of trouble and needs money to resolve the issue. Typically, the scammers ask for bail money, or in some cases a ransom. However, the loved one is usually unaware their voice is being used in a scam.

    However, the recent news article we read out of Alabama, suggests scammers are using the voice-spoofing technique in identity theft. An Alabama woman received a call she thought was from her brother, but was actually from scammers. Instead of asking for money, they asked the woman for personal information. They then used this information to hijack her Facebook account and use that for additional scams. Police there have said the scammers used the videos the brother posted on social media to mimic his voice with AI.

    We can’t say for sure, but this sounds like the scammers may have been asking for the woman’s security questions in case she lost her Facebook password. Considering the answers to these questions are something like “What was your first pet’s name?” or “What city were you born?” these may seem like innocuous questions coming from a close family member.

    In cases like this, it’s best to ask the family member calling a question only they would know to verify their identity.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , jury duty scam,   

    Doctors taken for $300K in scam 

    By Greg Collier

    Many of us consider doctors to be some of the best and brightest among us. They never stop learning, as their profession requires them to be on the cutting edge of medical science. But for all their medical knowledge, even doctors are susceptible to scams. We’re not talking about a medically specific scams, either. We’re talking about one of the most common scams there is.

    Recently, In Houston, Texas, 60 people were targeted in the jury duty scam. Many of the victims were doctors, and each victim lost $5000 each for a combined loss of $300,000.

    For new readers, the jury duty scam works like this. The scammer will call the victim, posing as a representative of the local court system, and claim that the victim has failed to appear for jury duty. They will then tell the victim that there is a warrant out for their arrest and that they must pay a fine to avoid being arrested. Typically, scammers will ask for payment in something largely untraceable like a prepaid debit card, git cards, or cryptocurrency.

    If you think about it critically, this is a pretty ingenious twist on the jury duty scam. Doctors tend to make more money than the average consumer. It only takes a handful of doctors to fall for the scam in order for the scammer to make a substantial profit.

    The reason we bring up the fact that doctors are falling victim to one of the most common scams is because it shows that no matter how intelligent a person might be, there’s a scam out there that they could fall for. It may not be the jury duty scam, but there is a scam out there that could be the one that finally fools you. We’ve seen everyone from teachers to CEOs who have lost vast amounts of money to various scams.

    As far as the jury duty scam is concerned, please keep in mind that no law enforcement agency will ever threaten someone with arrest over the phone. In most cases, the court will send a summons via mail, and any communication related to jury duty will be conducted in person or via official court correspondence. If you receive a call or email claiming to be related to jury duty, it’s important to verify the authenticity of the communication before providing any personal or financial information.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 29, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , jury duty scam, , ,   

    Protect Yourself from the Jury Duty Scam 

    By Greg Collier

    As we tend to say, the most common scam featured in the news is the jury duty scam. We find news stories about this scam every day. Just a quick Google search found us jury duty scam warnings from police departments or sheriff’s office in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and New Mexico. If it hasn’t been reported in your area yet, it’s only a matter of time before it does. Even with all the warnings going around, the jury duty scam continues to find victims. So, we thought it’s probably time to remind our readers of this scam.

    The jury duty scam is a common scheme in which scammers impersonate officials from a court or law enforcement agency and contact people by phone, email, or text message. They claim that the person has failed to appear for jury duty and that there is a warrant out for their arrest. The scammers then demand payment of a fine or fee to avoid being arrested.

    In some cases, the scammers may ask for personal information such as Social Security numbers or financial information, which they can use for identity theft or to steal money from the victim’s accounts.

    It is important to note that legitimate court officials or law enforcement agencies will never ask for payment or personal information over the phone or email, and they will not threaten to arrest someone for failing to appear for jury duty. If you receive a suspicious call or message, do not give out any personal information or send any money, and report the incident to the appropriate authorities.

    If someone legitimately misses jury duty, they may face penalties or consequences, depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances. In some cases, the court may issue a bench warrant for their arrest, and they may be required to appear before a judge to explain why they failed to appear for jury duty.

    However, please keep in mind, that when police do issue an arrest warrant for someone, they do not call them over the phone to warn them.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 1, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , jury duty scam, , , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Scammer dresses as cop and more 

    Scam Round Up: Scammer dresses as cop and more

    By Greg Collier

    This week on the round up, we’re bringing you three scams that may not be new, but have a new aspect to them.


    For our first scam, we have a Nebraska woman who lost $53,000 to a pop-up scam. She got a pop-up on her computer that said someone had used her personal information for online gambling. The pop-up also had a number to call. The woman called the number, and the person she spoke with claimed to be from her bank. She was told she needed to transfer her money to a separate bank account to protect her money. The new aspect of this scam is that she was told when the person who supposedly stole her information tried to take money from her account, they would be arrested. Instead, she transferred her money to scammers.

    Never call any phone number that appears on a computer pop-up. Those numbers only go to scammers, no matter what the pop-up might say.


    Our next scam shows how well-informed scammers can be. In Los Alamos, New Mexico, retirees of the historic Los Alamos National Lab, were recently told their prescription insurance would no longer be taken at Kroger pharmacies. This story doesn’t get any more local. However, it hasn’t escaped the purview of scammers. Residents have reported that they’ve received phone calls from people impersonating the prescription insurance company. These callers have been asking for personal information like Social Security numbers and dates of birth.

    Health insurance companies typically only call customers when the customer has called them first. Also, the health insurance companies typically don’t ask a customer for their Social Security number, as most insurance companies use their own internal ID numbers for their customers.

    If you get a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from your insurance company, hang up and call them directly at the customer service number on your health insurance card.


    Lastly, we have a disturbing version of the arrest warrant scam, as if that weren’t disturbing enough. In the arrest warrant scam, scammers will pose as local police and call their victims. The scammers will tell their victims they’ve missed jury duty and a warrant has been issued for the victim’s arrest. The victim will then be instructed to make payment through gift cards or pre-paid debit cards. But this scam usually only takes place over the phone.

    In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this scam is said to have stepped into the real world. A man dressed as an officer from the local County Sheriff’s office approached a woman and told her she would need to buy $8,000 in gift cards to avoid arrest for missing jury duty.

    It’s unclear how the victim in this news story was approached, however, if you’re approached by someone you think may be impersonating an officer, there are steps you can take. If you’re approached at your vehicle or home, call 911 and ask them if you’re being contacted by an actual officer. Police dispatch will have a record of it if they are an actual officer.

    No police officer would ever stop someone and threaten them with arrest if they didn’t pay a fine then and there. Police would also never ask for payment in gift cards.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , jury duty scam,   

    Scammers are too deep into our personal lives 

    By Greg Collier

    As we’ve said before, if we were asked what the most common scam is, we’d have to say the arrest warrant scam. Scammers across the country pose as law enforcement, including spoofing their phone numbers to make it look like police are calling their victims. The scammers tell their victims that they owe some kind of fine and need to pay it immediately or get arrested. The most common form of this scam is where victims are told they’ve missed jury duty.

    Usually, that’s enough for a victim to pay the scammer money. However, there is a variation of this scam that targets professionals. For example, if a victim ever had to testify in court as an expert witness, you could be targeted for this scam.

    In North Carolina, a woman was targeted in just such a scam. She’s a physical therapist who had testified in a lawsuit as an expert witness about a client of hers who had been injured in a car crash. The scammers used publicly available information to convince her she had missed a required court appearance. She was told that her physical therapist license could be in jeopardy if she did not pay a court fine immediately over the phone. She was also told that her phone was being tracked and that she couldn’t talk to anyone else about the fine because of a gag order.

    The scammers then sent her through an ordeal to get the money she needed to pay this fictitious fine. She withdrew the money from her bank, and the bank teller even commented on the large withdrawal. The victim replied she couldn’t comment on it because she was still on the phone with the scammers, thinking they were police.

    She was instructed to drive to five different Walmarts to send the money in smaller payments, more than likely through a money transfer service. She was also told that she needed to set up an appointment for a signature verification test. If her signature did not match the one on the subpoena, she would get her money back. So, she thought she would go to the police department to make the appointment.

    At this point, the scammers tried to get her to stay in her car. They told her she could be arrested if she went inside, since there was an active warrant for her arrest. She didn’t listen to them and went inside, where police told her she had been scammed. The victim had lost over $10,000 in the scam.

    Just because someone has a lot of information about you, that doesn’t make them the police. As shown in this story, even just a little bit of publicly available information can be used to scam victims. In many other scams, the scammers have used private information, such as the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number or credit card. This information is usually gathered after a data breach and can be bought on the dark web. They can even use information that they’ve gathered from a victim’s social media accounts. While a scammer may know a lot about you, that doesn’t make them an authority on you and should be hung up on.

    Please keep in mind, police would never call someone and threaten them with arrest if they didn’t pay them immediately. If a victim did owe a fine or court cost, they wouldn’t be asked to go to Walmart or any other store to make the payment. And gag orders are only applied to participants in an ongoing court case, not people who haven’t even been arrested yet. Anytime something feels wrong on a phone call, hang up and call the department or business they claim to be calling from.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , jury duty scam, , , , , US Attorney's Office,   

    Scam Round Up: Taylor Swift ticket scam and more 

    By Greg Collier

    This week in the Round Up, we’re going over some familiar scams with a slight twist to each of them.


    As we keep saying, the most common scam out there is probably the arrest warrant scam. Not a day goes by where we don’t see this scam in the headlines from somewhere in the country. Typically, scammers will pose as your local police department when they call a victim. The scammers will then demand money over an arrest warrant that doesn’t actually exist. More often than not, the scammers will tell the victim they’ve missed jury duty. In many jurisdictions, missing jury duty is no longer an arrestable offense, although you can be fined. However, you would receive a notice in the mail and not an officer calling you on the phone.

    Anyway, some scammers have turned up the pressure on their victims by claiming to be from a much higher law enforcement office than your local police department. Some scammers are claiming to be calling from the US Attorney’s Office, demanding their victims pay ‘legal fees’. The caller ID On these calls is spoofed to make it appear like the calls are coming from the US Attorney’s Office.

    Always keep in mind, no law enforcement office will ever call you demanding money. That goes for the smallest police departments in the most rural towns, up to and including the higher echelons of law enforcement like the FBI.


    There’s actually some good news on the puppy scam front. According to a recent report from the Better Business Bureau, puppy scams are actually on the decline. We’re specifically talking about the scam where victims pay for a puppy they find online, only to find out the puppy doesn’t exist. In many instances of this scam, once the scammer receives the initial payment, they’ll try to get more money from the victim by asking for more money for things like delivery insurance or special transport crates.

    And that’s where the bad news comes in. The reason puppy scams are on the decline is that scammers are taking more money from victims than before.

    If you’re in the market for a puppy, do not send any money to anyone without seeing the puppy in person first. Try to stick to local breeders or your local shelter.


    There’s no bigger star in today’s music industry than Taylor Swift. Tickets for her latest concert tour went on sale back in November, and quickly sold out. If you’re still looking to snag some tickets to this premium event, be careful where you try to get them from.

    A New Jersey woman thought she was buying tickets from another member of a Facebook group she belonged to. The woman sent $1500 through Zelle, for the tickets. She never received the tickets, and the scammer kept asking her for more money. If scammers can fool someone once, they’ll often try to get more money out of their victims.

    If you’re trying to buy tickets to any event that is in high demand, stick to reputable retailers. Also, never send money through Zelle to someone you don’t know personally.

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