Clerk of superior court warns of jury scam
by Staff Report
Jul 26, 2014 | 1664 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bartow County officials are warning residents to be aware of a new scam involving a suspect impersonating a Bartow County Sheriff’s Office deputy and asking for money.

Bartow County Clerk of Superior Court Melba Scoggins said in a press release the suspect calls a resident and says the resident, or a family member, failed to report for jury duty and there is a warrant for their arrest or a fine to be paid.

Two incident reports were filed with BCSO on Thursday involving the scam.

In the first case, the victim said a man identifying himself as a lieutenant with BCSO had called and left a message saying he was with the BCSO warrant division and he needed to speak to her. The victim said she called the suspect back and was told the suspect had a bench warrant on her for failure to appear for jury duty.

The suspect reportedly said he wanted the victim to go to a CVS and buy a Green Dot card and give him the number off the back to satisfy the bond on the bench warrant. The amount, according to the incident report, was $1,100. The victim said she told the suspect she would call him back. The victim said she has not talked to the man since.

The victim gave the deputy the phone number she had called. When the deputy first called the number it went to voice mail, with a message saying, “This is the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office warrant division. All agents are busy at this time. Please leave a name and number and we will contact you as soon as possible,” according to the report.

After a second attempt, the deputy spoke with the suspect, who identified himself as a lieutenant. When the deputy identified herself, the suspect reportedly hung up. A third phone call also went to voice mail.

Later Thursday a second report was filed where the victim said she received a phone call from a man saying he was a lieutenant with BCSO and he had a warrant for failure to appear for jury duty.

According to the incident report, the suspect asked the woman for $5,400 to clear a bond on the warrant. When the victim said she did not have the money, the suspect said she could pay $2,500 and make payments on the remaining balance.

The deputy confirmed the number that called the victim was the same number from the prior incident report. The victim was advised not to return the call and notify law enforcement if the suspect contacted her again.

According to the clerk of court press release, police officers, deputies and officers of the court do not call and ask for personal or financial information or to inform anyone they have warrants.

“There is never an instance where you can send money and have warrants ‘taken care of,’” the release continued. “Always remember never to give out personal information (date of birth, bank or credit card information) over the phone. All jury notices are always mailed to the juror. We also place a list of jurors in our local paper.”

Residents who believe they have been a victim or have been contacted in the scam are urged to contact BCSO and file a report by calling 770-382-5050.