(WTVM) - A Chambers County, Ala. resident received a phone call from an unfamiliar number on Wednesday, May 7.
They listened to the person on the other end who told them they had missed jury duty, and now they had to pay up or face jail time.
"It's just basically the circumstance where an individual is trying to take advantage of your gullibility and lack of knowledge about how the process actually works," explains Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.
The scammer is a live person, and not a recording. They will call the intended victim, say they represent a local sheriff's office, and say there's a warrant out for their arrest, because of failure to show up for jury duty.
However, the criminal says it can all be taken care of if they victim purchases a prepaid card with a certain amount of cash.
"That is something law enforcement is not going to do. In fact no reputable institution is going to do something along those lines. They will do it in a much more professional manner, and also in a way that will protect your privacy," Jones explains.
According to the Muscogee County Sheriff's office, when citizens respond to the scammer saying that they did not receive a summons, they are told that in order to avoid a fine or incarceration, they need to provide some information for "verification" purposes. This includes your birth date, social security number, and even a credit card number.
Since the last reported case on Wednesday, the scammer's telephone number has been disconnected. Authorities want to remind residents to never give out personal information to anyone of the phone, no matter the circumstance.
"You will receive a visit in person from an officer or agent with a particular agency in regard to any court action, or you will receive something by certified mail, something along those lines," says Jones, "But it certainly is not going to be over the phone or an email."
If you have received a phone call like this, you're asked to contact the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office at (706) 653-4225