Statesville NC – Iredell County Clerk of Superior Court Jim Mixson reports that an all too familiar scam is making the rounds again in Iredell County. Mixson reports that this morning around 9:00 am a local resident received a call from someone that identified themselves as “Deputy James Marshall with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office” and reported the resident had missed jury duty, that he was in contempt of court and there was a warrant for his arrest issued by a local judge. The caller mentioned that resident needed to post a surety bond. However, the caller stated he could pay $2000.00 through the Green Dot Money Payment system at Food Lion to satisfy the bond. Mixson reports this is definitely a scam. “The resident was smart to hang up on the caller”, stated Mixson.
These scams are nothing new; however, the caller’s tactics vary from time to time.
In April of this year callers representing themselves as federal judges ordering residents to pay fines for missing jury duty claimed two victims in Charlotte. According to federal court officials, after being convinced that the calls were legitimate, the residents paid $8,000 and $9,000, respectively, to avoid arrest. One of the victims was elderly.
Mixson reports that on October 20, 2016 three different individuals reported receiving suspicious calls from someone pretending to be a law enforcement officer or court official and informing the individuals they had missed jury duty. In at least once instance the caller instructed the individual to call a specific number for more information. A recording on that phone line stated “You have reached the civil citations and warrants division, all available officers are busy at this time.”
Mixson further reports that in May 2015 a caller identified themselves as a deputy with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office. The caller falsely informed the victim they missed jury duty on March 28, 2015. The caller then informed the victim that a judge had issued a warrant for their arrest but they could settle the matter if they paid a $2500.00 fine. Unfortunately, the victim purchased gift cards from a local store for approximately $2500.00 and gave the caller sensitive information from the cards over the phone.
Clearly, these scams are relying on the credibility and gravity of a court system to pressure citizens into making a false step.
Mixson cautions that citizens are advised to aware of these and similar scams. It is important to note that jury management staff at the Clerk’s Office judges,, judicial staff and the Sheriff’s Office will NEVER contact citizens by phone or email and ask for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, money, or any other sensitive personal or financial information. Do not give out such information over the phone or by email. Mixson also request anyone receiving a suspicious phone call to report it to law enforcement and the Iredell County Clerk of Court’s office at 704-832-6600.
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