Jury duty scam targeting Las Vegas residents


Video by ktnv.com

Jury duty scam targeting Las Vegas residents

By Daniel Gutierrez. CREATED Mar 7, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Jury duty is a civic duty. But what happens, when you're not able to serve?

One valley woman, and prospective juror, spoke out after getting a very scary phone call.

"He had a warrant for my arrest because I failed to report for jury duty," said Angeline Clark.

She said she really thought she was going to jail. It was Tuesday morning when she got a call from a man claiming to be a lieutenant with the Clark County Sheriff's Office, "I said, I don't understand how that could be, because I've done nothing wrong."

She actually has a letter from the Regional Justice Center, excusing her from jury duty back in October, because she was sick at the time, "I brought the letter up, and he said that the letter was not filed with the court."

In order to avoid going to jail, Angeline was told she'd have to pay a fine over the phone, using a prepaid card.

"I had to go to Walmart and get a card and load it up with $625.50," said Angeline.

She said the caller actually stayed on the phone with her the entire time, until the transaction was completed.

"He was so convincing. He sounded as if he was in an office. I could hear phones. I could hear other people," said Angeline.

But the next day, a friend told her husband the phone call sounded like a scam. So Angeline called the Regional Justice Center, and learned she had been the victim of a hoax. That's when she called Contact 13, "I don't want this to happen to anybody else."

Unfortunately, the Eighth Judicial District Court said Angeline isn't the only one.

"It's a scare tactic that works. It's understandable because I would be scared if I heard such a thing," said District Court Chief Judge Jennifer Togliatti.

She said they've received calls from at least 30 other people in the last couple weeks, complaining about this scam. But she warns, don't believe anyone asking for a money.

"We will never ask you to give us personal identifying information, credit card information, bank account information, over the phone," said Togliatti.

As for Angeline, not only is she out more than $600, she has another concern, "I would like to know how, someone could have, he had my address, my name."

Here's the Contact 13 bottom line: If you get a call like this, report it right away to the Eighth Judicial District Court, and file a police report. Remember, there are a number of steps that are taken by the court to contact you, if you don't answer a jury summons. But that will come in the form of a letter, not a phone call.

For more details on jury information, click here.