The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about an ongoing phone scam, in which residents are being called about missing jury duty.
According to officials, scammers are identifying themselves as sheriff’s office employees and telling their victims they need to pay a fine for missing jury duty.
The calls often direct victims to pay the supposed fine over the phone using a Green Dot card, a reloadable prepaid debit card sold at Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger and other stores. To make the call seem legitimate, scammers will offer their victim’s address or, more recently, the last four digits of their social security number.
“They call from burner cell phones that can’t be traced back and they keep a list of the names that they call,” Chief Deputy Jury Commissioner Bradley J. Seitz said. “It’s really sick.”
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If you do miss jury duty, you could be held in contempt of court. However, the sheriff’s office will never call you about missing jury duty. In order to be called for jury duty, you must receive a summons through the mail first.
Seitz says phone scams like this have happened in the past with scammers pretending to be Hamilton County judges or court staff. Residents who have received a call like this are encouraged to report it to the Jury Commission Office by calling 513-946-5879.
“I also like to suggest that you put it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, social media and call your local police department,” Seitz said. “The more eyes we have on this the better. We just hope someone slips up along the way and they get caught for it.”