Someone claiming to be law enforcement, or with the court, calls the victim — often an elderly person — and threatens him with arrest for missing jury duty, but then offers to handle the matter for money, over the telephone.
Circuit clerks around the state have reported increasing incidents in the last several weeks, with the scam artists growing more and more sophisticated in their efforts to trick people.
The scammer usually informs the victim there is a warrant for his arrest for failing to report for jury duty. He, or she, then advises that bond has been ordered, sometimes dropping a local judge’s name for effect, and reassures the victim the whole matter can be settled without him being arrested if he will just agree to purchase a pre-paid credit card and pay the bond over the phone.
Victims have sometimes been instructed to go to a specific dollar store to obtain such a card.
These calls are placed from pre-paid cell phones with local telephone numbers. These scams have been reported recently in an increasing number of Alabama counties, including Autauga, Butler, Coffee, Colbert, Covington, Etowah, Houston, Morgan and Tuscaloosa counties.