On your side alert: local woman warns of jury duty scam

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A local woman is sharing her story of how she was scammed in order to save others from falling prey.

The scam involves a phone call from someone posing as a Deputy Sheriff. The caller tells the victim they failed to report for jury duty and need to pay money to avoid arrest.

The woman who didn't want to be identified tells WBTV's Kay Johnson the man who posed as a law enforcement officer gave detailed information: his badge number, a docket number, a name of a judge and time to appear in court.

Just a few days before a phone call that would con her out of more than $443, the woman told WBTV she read a newspaper story about another scam. She never thought she'd fall for one. But then she did.

"He said this is Lieutenant Tom Allen. He said I have a warrant for your arrest because you did not show up for your jury duty summons. I said I didn't get one," the woman said.

Shocked and shaken by the seriousness of the man's accusation, the woman listen intently to every detail as this so-called lieutenant told her what to do.

"You go into Wal-Greens. Get a green dot money pack for $443 dollars," she said.

"He said scrape off the silver on the back and read me the numbers," she continued.

A phone call to a friend about the ordeal revealed it was all a scam. Because the card is just like paying cash - she knew she would never see the money again.

Mecklenburg County court officials say this latest scam is creating extra work for the courts, the sheriff's office and is causing unnecessary anxiety for numerous residents. They remind folks jury staff and the sheriff's office will never contact residents by phone or email and ask for money or personal and financial information.

Now that the victim knows the details of the scam, she knows who can be most vulnerable to falling for it.

"I don't want anyone to go through what I went through, especially the elderly, the handicap, the people that live alone," the woman said.

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