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Jury duty phone scam resurfaces in Forsyth

What to do if you receive a scam call

Contact the Forsyth County Clerk of Courts
- Call (770) 781-2120 and choose option No. 2
- Email

A scam that has previously targeted Forsyth County residents appears to have resurfaced, based on a report by a local citizen.

Greg Allen, Forsyth County’s clerk of courts, said he first became aware of the scam after a woman came to his office “very shaken and upset” after she reportedly received a phone call that he said turned out to be a jury duty scam.

“Callers from ‘spoofed’ phone numbers are contacting residents of Forsyth County posing as a Forsyth County deputy sheriff or a deputy clerk from [Allen’s] office,” a news release said Thursday. “The caller states, ‘You failed to report for jury duty and a warrant is being issued for your arrest.’

“When residents respond that they never received a jury summons or notice to appear in court, the callers tell them that in order to avoid arrest and incarceration the fine can be paid by a green dot card purchased from a local drug store, typically a nationally known chain.”

Green dot cards and others similar are prepaid MasterCard and Visa cards available at most stores.

Allen said while his staff does regularly contact citizens regarding jury duty, his office would never ask for a financial transaction to be completed over the phone.

“If you receive a call from anyone who says he or she works for this office or Sheriff Ron Freeman’s office and the caller ask you to pay a fine by a card, make a note of the caller’s phone number and name if given, hang up the phone and do not talk to them,” Allen said. “Under no circumstances should you purchase prepaid cards and give the card numbers over the phone. Innocent citizens have been fleeced of large amounts of money around the state. Some counties are reporting amounts of $500, $3,000 and $4,000.”

Similar scams frequently pop up in Forsyth County, many of which use law enforcement officials in a scare tactic.

In December, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office warned that scammers are getting more creative and clever in their schemes.

A “common telephone scam has evolved” to where scam artists now reportedly manipulate their caller ID to show up as the sheriff’s office main line number.

The scam, which deputies have been receiving reports of for years, usually involves a person claiming to be a deputy with the warrant unit, calling to inform a victim of a warrant for his or her arrest for a failure to appear for missing a jury duty summons or other civic duty.

Sawnee EMC, a Cumming-based electric services provider, has also warned its customers of a scam that targets homeowners.

In those cases, the scammer allegedly states that if a payment is not made today, power will be cut off to a victim’s home.