CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A long-running scam is ramping up again around the Lowcountry and local law enforcement agencies have been sending out alerts.
In the first two weeks of 2020, three Lowcountry sheriff’s offices have put out warnings about imposter calls and jury duty scams. Callers pretend to be local law enforcement and claim you’ve missed jury duty or have other outstanding warrants.
The phone number on your Caller ID may match a local law enforcement office and the caller will give a name and rank that sounds real. In some cases, they’ve used real names so they check out if you search online.
The caller says you’ve missed jury duty and have a warrant out for your arrest. You’ll be given the option of paying a fine over the phone to avoid jail time but you’ll have to use pre-paid credit cards such as Green Dot, MoneyPak, or Reloadit. Once you pay the caller will conveniently find more outstanding warrants you need to settle.
The Better Business Bureau issued an updated warning on the jury duty scam with the following clues to recognize the scam:
- Be skeptical of the calls even if everything seems legit.
- Call local law enforcement directly to find out if the call if real.
- Don't think you have to make a payment over the phone. The scammer wants it to appear urgent but also convenient.
- Never use gift cards or prepaid credit cards to pay a fine. That's always a red flag for scams.
- Call a friend or family member and ask them if it seems right.
If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.