Victim loses $1,000 in jury duty scam

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Yavapai County officials want to warn folks about the ongoing so-called “jury-duty scam” going around. The scammer’s calls have been especially heavy in the last few weeks.

The scam involves a suspect who calls unwitting victims and advises that a warrant has been issued for their arrest because of missed jury duty.

In a majority of the incidents reported, the caller/suspect has identified himself as an employee of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office or just Sheriff’s Office.

Many people who have received such calls are already aware of the scam and simply hang up.

Several days ago, YCSO deputies were called to a home in Cornville to meet with a 28-year-old woman victimized in the scam.

She had received a call around 9 a.m. from the ‘Sheriff’s Office’ and was told she missed jury duty and that a warrant had been issued for her arrest. The suspect explained over the phone that $2,000 was necessary to dismiss the warrant and directed her to buy prepaid credit cards from a local store and deposit them into a kiosk at the Sheriff’s Office on Gurley Street in Prescott.

The victim purchased two $500 prepaid cards with cash as a down payment and provided the card numbers to the suspect over the phone for verification. After speaking with the deputy to confirm she had been scammed, the victim attempted to cancel the pre-paid cards but it was too late as the money had been withdrawn.

During a follow-up the next day, the victim explained she had been contacted again by the suspect to obtain the balance of $1000. She declined. The suspect identified himself as ‘Deputy Alan Scott.’

There is no one at YCSO by that name. Detectives are attempting to identify a suspect through phone records.

YCSO wants to remind folks that law enforcement agencies and court officials will never call to solicit payment on a warrant in this manner. Names used by suspects in these calls may or may not represent a true person. Either way, these calls are always fraudulent!

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