Bartow County Clerk of Superior Court Melba Scoggins on Thursday issued a warning concerning a jury duty scam targeting residents.
“I have received several complaints this week that someone claiming to be an officer from our local Bartow County Sheriff Department is calling [residents] of Bartow County stating that he/she or a family member failed to report for jury duty,” Scoggins said in a press release. “They state there is a warrant for their arrest or that a fine is to be paid.”
Bartow County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said the jury duty scam he was aware of did not occur in Bartow, but used the name of a BCSO deputy.
“This all started last year and they’ve done it all over the metro area and not using just Bartow County deputies’ names,” he said. “It’s like they just find the names of the people that work around the courthouses and use their name when they call just to give it a little more juice, I guess, to make people more fearful.”
All jury notices are mailed to the juror, and a list of jurors is published in The Daily Tribune News.
Court or law enforcement officials do not contact citizens through phone calls and seek personal information.
“It’s not legal notice for someone to call you reporting to be a officer of the court or officer of the law. To have true legal service that you have jury duty or that you missed anything, it will either be in person or by certified mail,” Rogers said. “... We would never call somebody and ask them to go obtain a green dot card and call us back with the numbers. To have contact with a person who is supposed to be paying a fine would not be legitimate.”
According to the press release, there is never an instance where a resident can send money and have warrants “taken care of.”
Residents are advised to never give out personal information — date of birth, bank or credit card information — over the phone.
“There is always people stealing or obtaining people’s credit card numbers or bank account numbers; of course, there’s a hundred different ways to do that, whether it’s through the mail or somewhere where they used their card or somebody that works in a place where cards are used, you know, is stealing numbers that way,” Rogers said.
“They can always ensure that if they are going to give information I would say ... Don’t ever give it to somebody unless you really know the intentions of the person or the person is verified to be who they are.”
If you believe you have been a victim or you are contacted by these individuals, contact Rogers at 770-382-5050.