Criminals are using fear as their weapon. That is nothing new. For months, we've been warning about scams where the crooks contact potential jurors and tell them that they missed their jury service and they need to pay up to avoid further fines and possibly an arrest. Now, those scam artists are changing the script.
According to the Collier Clerk of Courts, the scammers are now calling and falsely claiming that the victims failed to appear at a court hearing. They are then requesting that the residents pay between $3,000 to $3,500 through Cash App to avoid arrest.
The collier County Sheriff's Office and the Office of Inspector General have reported seven complaints so far. Authorities are urging residents to be vigilant Never give personal or financial information over the phone to a stranger, especially if the caller acts aggressively. Calls asking for payments made by cash, gift card or in person are a red flag for a fraud scheme. Residents should be wary of caller ID, as this can be spoofed, making a phone call look like it is coming from a legitimate source.
In Pasco County, we have had several Jury Duty scam victims, but we have no reports of victims of this latest scheme . We wanted to be proactive and make the public aware, because crooks historically don't mind crossing county lines.