SCAM ALERT: King County Sheriff’s Office warns of jury duty phone call scam


The King County Sheriff’s Office wants to warn residents of a SCAM that has been occurring in the Seattle area over the last couple of years.

Police say that someone may call you and identify themselves as a King County deputy or detective and tell you that you failed to show up for jury duty.

But wait there’s more – once they have your attention they will threaten you with jail time unless you pay a fine immediately. Usually they will request a credit card number over the phone or even ask you to go to a nearby store to purchase a gift card and then tell them the card number.

“THIS IS A SCAM!!!! Do not give them any money!”

Fortunately most of the citizens who have called the Sheriff’s Office checking the validity of the call have not given any money to the scammers.

So what should you do if you get one of these calls? Hang-up! Yes, that’s right, hang-up!

The Sheriff’s Office would NEVER call you about a warrant and ask you to pay over the phone. The scammers are very convincing but, DO NOT FALL FOR IT! Do not pay anyone over the phone for an alleged warrant for failing to report for jury duty.

A Reader recently confirmed that she had received one of these scam calls:

I got what I believe was an identity theft call today. Caller left this message on my voice mail:

“Hello this is Sgt. Kent Sellers down here at the King County Sheriff’s Department trying to reach Mrs. Rosemary Tyksinski If you would ma’am give me a call back at your earliest convenience. I have a very important matter that has come across my desk I need to discuss with you as soon as possible. The number I can be reached at here at the office is 206-316-9910 ext. 39 which is my office. Thank you.”

I called back–no voice mail was set up on his phone.

He called a few minutes later, with a very “cop sounding” voice, and claimed he had “2 citations” on his desk and “warrants for my arrest for failing to report for jury duty.”

When I told him he was mistaken and that I received no such summons he threatened to “dispatch units for my arrest immediately” if I didn’t comply.

He had my name, spouse’s name, address and phone number, and also sought confidential info.

He hung up on me when I asked for name, badge number, and supervisor’s name and number. 😱

Clues:

1) no voice mail set up on his number
2) hostile and threatening when I asked for clarification
3) ridiculous claim
4) argumentative when I asked questions
5) threatened me with immediate arrest (What? For missing a jury summons?!)

I then googled the number and saw a scam complaint re: jury duty.

Also googled “jury duty scam” AARP had this to say:

http://blog.aarp.org/2016/09/09/courting-trouble-jury-duty-scam-is-back/

Do not be fooled by the Jury Duty SCAM!


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