In late December, a 42-year-old Prescott man contacted the Sheriff’s Office to reported losing money in the jury warrant scam.
The victim had received a call purportedly from a deputy at the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and was told he had a $4,000 warrant for his arrest because he was a no show for jury duty. The scam suspect indicated that if the warrant was not paid, a deputy would be out to arrest him. As instructed, the victim went to a local drug store and purchased eight $500 prepaid Money Pak ‘Green Dot cards and called the scammer at the phone number provided.
The victim shared all of the card numbers over the phone with the ‘Deputy’ and after he completed the call, realized he had been warned previously about scams like this. He immediately tried to cancel the transactions, but was only successful in getting payment stopped on two cards. As a result, he lost $3,000 dollars.
Detectives are following up with leads regarding the phone number while attempting to track the pre-paid debit card to the suspect. YCSO and other local police agencies continue to receive calls about the scam in which suspects use the names of local officials in the justice system in an attempt to make the scam believable.
“Remember, law enforcement agencies and court officials will never call to solicit payment on a warrant in this manner. Names used by suspects in these calls may or may not represent a true person. Either way these calls are always fraudulent!” emphasized YCSO officials.
Please share this information with family and friends. The Sheriff’s Office also encourages merchants who sell pre-paid credit cards to educate employees and share this information with customers who may not realize they are being victimized. The pattern is usually clear- Multiple cards purchased in the same denomination, victims usually elderly, and a customer exhibiting a stressful demeanor during the transaction as they rush to purchase cards to avoid ‘arrest.’
Yavapai County Jury Information is found here: http://courts.yavapai.us/clerk/Juror-Info/Frequently-Asked-Questions (note the similar warning provide by court officials).
Additional information here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbOguX8f4RA