Everyone gets scared when they hear someone from law enforcement on the other end of their phone.
“People inherently have a fear of going to jail so immediately they’re thinking, well I didn’t do anything wrong,” says Sgt. Joe Mahoney with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
In this scam, they say you messed up big time, claiming you didn’t show up for jury duty.
They tell you, for skipping out on your civic duty, that they now have a warrant for your arrest. That is, unless you’re prepared to pay a price.
“So they’re quick to pay without stopping to think that it’s possibly a scam,” says Mahoney.
To make it seem legitimate, the scammers try a number of things.
“They may even know a lot of personal information about you,” says Detective Laura Soulier with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
They’ll tell you to put money on a green dot card to pay fines to keep them from arresting you—and that’s a dead giveaway that it’s a scam.
“When you get these phone calls, hang up, that’s the best thing you can do,” says Soulier.
Courts will only communicate with you through certified mail. And if you do get certified mail and still aren’t sure, go ahead and call the court. But never give out your personal information over the phone to anyone.