Citizens are being contacted by phone by a man that identifies himself as an officer of the Sheriff's Office, Police Department or a Constable's Office. The caller informs the citizen that they failed to report for jury duty and a fine has been assessed. The fine ranges from $2,000 to $4,000. The caller advises the citizen that there is a warrant for their arrest and they must report to court. The caller usually tells them to report to a specific judge at a specific court location like 100 W. Weatherford, Room 4C. The citizen is instructed to go to a local Walmart or grocery store to obtain a Green Dot Money Card which is a pre-paid reloadable debit card. The scam artists are using disposable cell phones so they have no problem giving the citizen a phone number to call them back. Also, they tell the citizen they can contact a specific official with Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office to verify the information. Once the citizen gets the Green Dot Money Card, they are instructed to give the Green Dot Money Card information over the phone which will satisfy the fine and the warrant will be dismissed. This allows the scam artist to get the money so there is no actual face-to-face contact. The scam artists sound very convincing over the phone. They threaten the citizen with jail and fines in order to get them to comply.
What you should do:
Write down the phone number the person is calling from. Do not give the caller any personal information about yourself. Contact your local police department and request to file a complaint.
What you should know:
Tarrant County Jury Services would never contact you by phone to pay a fine for failing to appear for jury service. Typically, we would send a failed to appear notice before taking any action. If a warrant is issued for your arrest, there is no warning phone call. The courts do not allow citizens to pay a fine in lieu of jury service. A fine can be assessed, and in some cases jail time, but it would still result in the jury service being rescheduled to a later date.