Louisville grandmother says she nearly lost $900 in jury duty scam
A Louisville grandmother says she was nearly taken for $900 dollars all because she apparently missed jury duty.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville grandmother says she was nearly taken for $900, after taking a call saying she apparently missed jury duty.
Her granddaughter called the person back, recorded it and says the scammer who answered eventually said he was sorry.
"I said I haven't been in no kinda trouble, I've never been locked up or nothing - and he said, ‘but you've got a warrant out on you,'" said 81-year-old Emma Carver.
Carver got the call Friday around 11 a.m. Someone claiming to be with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said she owed $900 for missing jury duty.
"He said you gotta get the money to pay the fine with, and I said, ‘I don't have it’ and he said ‘well you have to get it.'"
"Everybody knows Ms. Emma,” said the granddaughter. “Everybody loves Ms. Emma. We took it very personal. Everybody around here took it very personal for the simple fact that you're preying on elderly people."
Carver's granddaughter says she called the man back at (502) 216-9484, and the person on the other end said they were with the sheriff’s department.
This time she recorded it.
Man: "We're just the messenger um, unfortunately, um, excuse me I'm on the phone sir, OK, don't you have an arrest to go make? Huh? Lock that inmate down in cell 27. Ok? Thank you. Excuse me ma'am, it's hard finding help nowadays."
The caller wanted the $900 dropped off to 531 Court Place to a woman named Patricia Smith. Carver's granddaughter realized it was a scam and called the number again.
Granddaughter: "What are you getting out of trying to scam on people? You need the money that bad?
Man: "Ah we just call random people."
Granddaughter: “Well what if my grandmother would've had a heart attack and died?”
Man: "OK, I'm very sorry today, God bless you I do apologize."
The granddaughter says the scammers called back again and asked for someone with a different last name. Someone else in the background could be heard saying "it’s the wrong number."
She gave WDRB the same number, and we called it too.
Man: "Jefferson County Sheriff's Department."
Ryan: "Hi, I'm looking for Bryant Owens please."
Man: "Please hold for just one moment while I transfer your call."
After 45 seconds of silence, the person on the other end hung up the phone.
"It's a disturbing trend that often targets seniors," Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said.
Beshear held a press conference just last week addressing the media. He says criminals are pretending to be law enforcement, all in an effort to cash in.
"So when a con-artist uses their good name to try to steal money from people ... I take that, and I know these sheriffs and police take that, very very personally."
And so do people like Emma Carver.
"You get scared, they get scared. I wasn't scared, I was just kinda nervous a little bit," Carver said.
We gave the phone number to the attorney general's office, who is now investigating and says law enforcement never calls and never asks for money regarding missed jury duty.
If you think you're ever being scammed, hang up and call the AG’s Office of Consumer Protection at 888-432-9257 or your local sheriff’s office.
Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.