COTTONWOOD – Cottonwood Police Department have taken several calls recently from citizens who are being targeted by phone calls threatening them with prosecution for failure to comply with jury service.
The individual calling may identify him or herself as a member of the “Sheriff’s Office,” and the caller may or may not indicate the call is from the “Warrant Service” or some other law enforcement agency, according to a news release.
The caller will state that an arrest warrant has been issued for failure to appear in court and then give the person the option of paying a fine to avoid arrest. Typically, the caller will ask the person to obtain a “green dot” voucher or debit card, the release stated.
These phone calls are fraudulent and have no connection to any law enforcement agency in Yavapai County.
Neither the courts nor any other law enforcement agency will ever call someone to request the payment of a fine over the telephone for failure to appear for jury duty (nor will personal information, such as a social security number, ever be requested over the phone).
Typically, the release stated, jurors who miss jury duty will be contacted by the Clerk’s Office and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear in court before a judge.
Any fine for failure to appear for jury duty will be imposed by a judge during an open session of court, and the summoned juror will be given the opportunity to explain the failure to appear before any fine would be imposed, explained the release. If contacted by someone requesting such payments, do not make the payment.
Prescott woman conned out of $2,000 Thursday night
Thursday night, a 60-year-old Prescott woman came to the Sheriff’s Office to follow-up on phone calls she had been receiving from a ‘Captain Mark Boan’ from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office demanding payment on a warrant for failure to serve jury duty.
Dwight D’Evelyn, YCSO media coordinator, said the calls began Wednesday, and the victim had already paid $2000 via pre-paid Visa cards in an attempt to satisfy the bogus fine on the bogus warrant.
She had come to the Sheriff’s Office to make sure the warrant issue was settled and learned she had been scammed, said D’Evelyn.
The suspect called from 928- 210-XXXX number. There is also a voice mail connected to this number.
YCSO urges the public to share this information with family and friends who may not be following media reports. The Sheriff’s Office would like to stop this scam in its tracks.
On occasion, the scammers may use the name of actual employees working for YCSO as was the case for ‘Dave Williams,’ who is a Lt. with YCSO.
YCSO said to always verify such demands by calling back on a published number for the agency involved. Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor any court officer will ever demand payment on a warrant by phone while demanding the use of prepaid debit cards, emphasized the Sheriff’s Office.
Numerous other calls have also been received by the public claiming the caller is from APS and their power is about to be shut off for past due payments, said authorities.
These callers will also request payment through Green Dot cards.
If one of these calls is received, do not give any personal information over the phone and call the local police or Sheriff’s Office, or the utility company directly using the local phone number. Do not use the number given to you by the fraudulent caller, said police.
The Cottonwood Police Department would like to remind everyone to be conscience in the uptick in fraudulent calls this time of the year. Keep your personal identifying information safe and verify who you are talking to when receiving a phone call claiming you owe money, urged the news release.
Report all such calls to the local police agency.