Jury duty phone scam dupes local victims - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jury duty phone scam dupes local victims

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Dennis Hallman was sitting at home on Saturday when he got the phone call. Dennis Hallman was sitting at home on Saturday when he got the phone call.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hang up the phone. That's the advice from the Jefferson Co. Sheriff's Office in response to someone who's pulling off a phone scam by impersonating a deputy.

Dennis Hallman was sitting at home on Saturday when he got the phone call.

“Well, I got a call from a guy saying he was a deputy sheriff,” said Hallman.

The man told Hallman he had missed jury duty and had to pay a $1500 fine.

“He said you have one last chance,” Hallman told WDRB.

The caller said he would stay on the phone, while Hallman went to a nearby grocery store and bought a cash card.

“Give me the number, I'll deposit it, and after you go to the court date, you'll get the money back,” Hallman said the caller told him.

The money was gone. Looking back, Hallman says he feels “A little embarrassed, a little stupid.”

But Hallman was not alone.

“This past weekend was probably one of the worst weekends we've had,” said Det. David Ernst of the Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Office.

The Jefferson Co. Sheriff's office says it became aware of the scam when people began showing up at the Judicial Center to deal with phony court dates.

“They'll call on a Saturday evening or a Sunday evening. So there's no way to check to verify if you've missed court. They're really good at what they do. They put a sense of urgency,” said Ernst.

Hallman says his caller ID captured the man's phone number.

When WDRB called, the number had been disconnected.

Authorities say the scammers use so-called burner phones that can be programmed with most any number, then discarded.

“The one that we tracked to New Jersey, it showed a 502 number,” said Ernst.

If you get a call like this, the advice from the sheriff's department is simple -- hang up.

“If you were really going to on jury, you would get an official letter in the mail on official letterhead. If you didn't receive that, you're not on jury duty,” said Lt. Col. Carl Yates of the Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Office.

“Keep a healthy skepticism,” warned Hallman.

The scam can take different forms, including someone posing as an IRS agent.

The advice is the same. Hang up.

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