Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Missed Jury Duty Scam - Be Alert

Today I received a call from 636-212-0453 at approximately 11:20 AM.  The person on the other end claimed to be Deputy Officer Chris Stevens.  He claimed to be a desk officer due to leg injury and told me he was calling up to 70+ people who had missed their Jury Duty court dates.  He claimed I had been mailed a letter and missed my Jury Duty court date of April 18th 2016 in court room 3B at 1:00PM.  He said that I had two citations because of this and mentioned something about a warrant for my arrest.

  • SRU0077-24 - STA - Failure To Appear
  • SRU0036-64 - COC - Contempt Of Court
He mentioned I had a new court date on May 2nd in court room 3B at 1:00PM in which I needed to attend to explain why I missed my first court room appearance.  He then said I needed to purchase an insurance bond to guarantee I show up to court.  He said they would not accept any payment over the phone for security reasons, and that I needed to purchase an electronic bond that could only be redeemed at the court house for security purposes.  He said I needed to drive to a merchant that sold these bonds immediately, and that if I hung up the phone, it would cause my case to be in a "non compliant" state, and I could be arrested on site.  He also mentioned if I got into a routine traffic stop, or fender bender etc, that he could talk to the officer to let them know I was OK to proceed directly to the merchant to purchase an insurance bond.  He proceeded to look up a merchant and the
merchant he gave me was in the town my house is in, but not the town I work in... and he seemed disappointed when I told him I was at work, but he insisted that I still needed to
drive to the merchant to pick up one of these electronic bonds while I was on the phone with him. He said the honorable Judge would provide statement for my employer to let them know why I had to leave work.  I told him my phone was running low on battery ( it was at 11% ) and he recommended I stop at a gas station to pick up a car charger.  He said the court house would fully reimburse me for the car charger.

The kicker was then how much these electronic bonds were going to cost me.  He did mention the fine for the citations could be up to $1,000.00 and/or 12 months in jail.  I asked how much the insurance bonds were going to be and he said they were required to be paid for in cash.  And the only merchant that sells them, was a local grocery store in the town I live in.   He said the bond would be $980 for the first citation.. at which I exclaimed, $980! Who carries that kind of cash on them... he said I could stop by my financial institution to pick up the money as long as I stayed on the line with him.  Then I asked how much the second citation would be, and he said, "only $100.00"... and I said, "ONLY $100... THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY!"  

I mentioned my battery was still getting low on my phone and he must of thought I was beginning to be too skeptical, because he transferred me to his supposed superior officer... who claimed to be Lieutenant Zach Miller who quickly proceeded to give me his badge number of "7311" and explained the security of the insurance bond again... how I would be reimbursed at the court house in full for the bond the date of my court date.  He asked if I had any additional questions and assured me that this was the real deal.  

After all this, I finally realized that this was not real... this was a scam, a fake... completely not true.  They had transferred me back to "Deputy" Chris Stevens, and I told him he was fake, and that it wasn't real.  He proceeded to tell me that I have now put my case in non compliant state, and that he would send officers to arrest me on site, that I should put away all weapons, knifes, and sharp objects in preparation for my arrest.  I proceeded to hang up.

I felt violated and wished I would of trusted my gut instinct earlier on in the conversation to end it earlier... I wasted about 30-40 min. of my day talking to these bozo's.  

I confirmed with the sherif department and the local court house that this was in fact a true scam.  I post this here so that others can know about this scam.  Please don't fall for this type of scam, and use your gut instincts... trust your intuition... if it feels wrong, it probably is.  I'm still not 100% sure the end game these people had... were they planning to mug me at the grocey store?  Would they have requested the full number of the "insurance bond" ( guessing it would be a pre-paid credit card ) that they could then use to make online purchases with?




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