A new 'jury duty' scam is targeting Oldham County residents - WDRB 41 Louisville News

A new 'jury duty' scam is targeting Oldham County residents

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OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- A disturbing phone call is making the rounds in Oldham County.

The caller says, "You've missed jury duty and face jail time," but it is a scam. The caller even has a local number and claims to be from the Oldham County Sheriff's Office.

"I had a voicemail message, said it was from the Oldham County Sheriff's Department regarding a pending citation," said Baxter Eaves, who received a call from a scammer.

It sounded a lot like a legitimate phone call.

"And that it was a time sensitive matter and that I needed to call back immediately," Eaves added. "The number they told me to call was 502-209-4320. The caller claimed to be an officer of the law ... and ask for an Officer Brandon Melrose."

We called the number but got a voicemail.

It turns out there is no Officer Melrose with the Oldham County Sheriff's Office, and police confirmed the phone call is part of a scam.

"We've had two different victims for up to $2,000," said Deputy Michael Meece with the Oldham County Sheriff's Office.

Meece said the call is part of what is known as the "jury duty" scam and has already worked on a few Oldham County residents.

"Victims are being told that they've either missed federal or local jury duty and that there is an outstanding warrant for their arrest," Meece said.

In the two recent cases, the victims were told to go to Kroger or Rite Aid and purchase Money Pack or Green Dot Credit Cards.

"The bad guys will stay on the phone with these people," Meece said. "Unfortunately, once that code is read, the money is gone."

The Oldham County Sheriff's Office posted a warning on Facebook.

"No one is ever going to get a phone call asking for money to have a warrant recalled," Meece said.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear reinforced that message this week.

"People need to understand that's a scam," he said. "No sheriff's office or other law enforcement agency will ever contact you on the phone telling you've missed jury service."

As for the local phone number, the Better Business Bureau said it's part of the scam.

"There's a technology called spoofing, which you can put on a cellphone," said Bruce Gadansky, Vice President of Operations with the BBB. "And that gets people to answer the phone. That's the whole idea of doing that. And I can make my phone convince your phone that I am the FBI or the IRS."

Gadansky said it can happen to anyone.

"There have been judges who have been scammed by the warrant for your arrest scam," he said.

If you receive one of the phone calls, hang up right away. If it's too late and you've already lost money, contact the Kentucky Attorney General's office.

Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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