STPSO warns of jury duty phone scam

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MANDEVILLE – Scammers are fleecing St. Tammany residents for thousands of dollars with a jury duty and arrest warrant scheme.

The thieves have defrauded a large number of residents out of over $20,000 recently, according to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Using a computer program to mimic local phone numbers, use easily obtained public information to convince their victims to shell out $3,000 to $7,500 in order to avoid going to jail.

Claiming to represent either the sheriff’s office or the US Marshal’s office, the scammers tell their victims that they have missed jury duty and arrest warrants have been issued for their arrest.

In order to avoid jail time, according to the scam, the victims are advised to purchase “Green Dot money cards” in the amount of thousands of dollars and read the access numbers to the scammers over the phone.

This STPSO or the 22nd Judicial Court System would never collect a fine over the phone in this way, and Green Dot cards are not an acceptable form of payment, according to the STPSO.