TRUMBULL CO., Ohio (WYTV) – Jury duty is one of the responsibilities of living in a free country. Still, many people try to avoid it and schemers try to take advantage of that fear.
The latest report of a recurring scam comes from Trumbull County.
A Cortland woman got three calls on Thursday from the same number and figured it had to be important. She answered the last one and heard someone say she was in trouble.
“They said she had missed appearing for jury duty, never sent in her information and that she would be arrested if she did not take care of it,” said jury coordinator Connie Pierce.
The woman was told to pay $750 or go to jail.
Trumbull County sends out 260 jury summonses every two weeks for jury duty. This woman hadn’t gotten any notice.
“In 2007 was [the] last time she was drawn in Trumbull County for jury duty,” Pierce said.
She got suspicious and called the jury coordinator. The woman said she had been told to go to the second floor of the courthouse with the money and call someone who would send a deputy to collect it.
“Law enforcement agencies, we don’t operate this way. We knew right away that this was a scam,” said Det. Jolene Marcello.
Marcello dialed the phone number that had called the Cortland woman. Then she tried multiple numbers that came up in the recording.
“I wanted to see if the numbers were actual working numbers and if they were, who they came back to,” Marcello said.
One person picked up and identified herself, but then the phone was hung up.
This scam surfaces more regularly now, with fake numbers and fake recordings. The sheriff’s department also wanted to let others know.
“Basically, I want to get out that we don’t operate that way and don’t fall for it,” Marcello said.
The same goes for a call saying one of your relatives is in jail and you need to bring money or a gift card to bail them out. If you get calls like these, call the county sheriff’s office where you live.