We’ve told you before about the jury duty scam, but now it seems it’s back with a vengeance! The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office reports getting 15 calls in the last 24 hours about this scam. And now one local woman is out $800 because of it.
“How could I be that stupid?
This woman, who didn’t want to give her name or show her face, is the latest victim of the jury duty scam.
“Yeah, someone tells you you’re going to be arrested, then you panic!”
She got a call from a man saying she’d be locked up in jail for three days for missing jury duty if she didn’t pay $800.
She told us she watches the news every night, she knows the scams are out there, but she still fell for it because she says, these guys were that good.
“I’ve watched tv so many times, I read, ‘don’t send money’. But you’re so upset. ‘Scam’ is not going through your mind.”
“Hang up, I’m begging, hang the phone up. This is not how we conduct business, this is not how this goes,” says Detective Laura Soulier with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
Detective Laura Soulier says unfortunately a lot of people don’t follow that advice.
“It’s nationwide, it actually involves 20 states so far and a half a million dollars worth of losses,” says Soulier.
To make it sound more legitimate, they’re using names of real people in your local court system. Somehow, this guy knew to mention Circuit Court Judge Charles Graddick’s name during the phone call. Our victim admits she’s not proud of this mistake.
“Your self confidence, your self-esteem, you’re embarrassed to the hilt.”
And she doesn’t want anyone else going through this.
“If this can help one more person, it can stop this happening to one more person, I mean, I’m about to cry right now, it just makes you so mad.”
They say they tracked the man to Georgia and are working with FBI agents there. This guy making the calls is American and has a southern accent. I asked detective Soulier if foreigners were recruiting folks here in the states and she said “absolutely”. So just because the caller doesn’t sound like they’re foreign doesn’t mean it’s not a scam.