LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - Authorities in one Virginia county are warning residents about a rise in jury duty related scams targeting victims' bank accounts.
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court released a warning Thursday that said several county residents have reported receiving jury duty scam calls this week.
Officials said the calls come from a person claiming to be a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office, who convinces the victims they have an arrest warrant for failure to appear for jury duty. The caller then tells the victims they can pay fines to avoid being arrested, and they collect payment information from the victims.
"The jury duty scam works on the victims' emotions. These thieves use the appearance of authority and prey on a person’s fears in hopes that the victim will be more willing to provide the money," said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.
According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, under no circumstance would a law enforcement official in Virginia be permitted to collect fines of this nature. They add that any notices about failure to report for jury duty will be sent in an official written letter.
"Jury service is an important civic duty," said Gary M. Clemens, Loudoun Clerk of the Circuit Court. "We do not want potential jurors to be intimidated or discouraged to serve as jurors by individuals who use these deceitful tactics to extort money from unsuspecting citizens."
Anyone who lives in Loudoun County and believes they were targeted by these scams, please contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s at 703-777-1021 or file a report online here.