There have been a large volume of fraudulent calls that are allegedly coming from the Sheriff’s Department saying there is a warrant out for your arrest for not showing up for Jury Duty, or something about nonpayment of back taxes. This is a SCAM!
Criminals are now able to use false or “spoofed” numbers to make it appear that the call is coming from a Sheriff’s Office phone number, or from the Courts. They will use names of officers currently employed by KCSO, or they will give you a false name.
If someone contacts you and tells you there’s a warrant out for your arrest because you missed jury duty or that you owe back taxes, this is a scam! Discontinue the call and contact the King County Sheriff if you have any questions about the legitimacy of such a call.
The caller says that they are from the King County Sheriff’s Department (or from the Courts of King County) stating that because you missed jury duty there is a warrant for their arrest. This is a scam! They will tell you to pay hundreds of dollars to avoid being arrested. They use high pressure tactics and get you panicked by the way they talk to you. They are very professional sounding. Once they get you to agree to pay the money, they tell you to purchase a cash card (or have a card reloaded) from one of the well known stores (Walmart, Target, etc.). The caller will have you call them back with the special pin number on the card or keep you on the phone during the entire transaction. Within seconds these funds have been transferred into their account.
They will then tell you to go down to the King County Courthouse and sign up for jury duty and that King County will reimburse you with a cashier’s check for the amount you paid them.
If you are a victim of this scam:
The King County Sheriff's Office has provided information about these calls to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and they are working with the Washington State Patrol (WSP). They are gathering cases to review for information/similarities on the Jury Scam topic. If you have been a victim of this scam, they have set up an email address you can email and report to them with as much information as you can. It is firstname.lastname@example.org. They also have a tip line you can call - 425-401-7741.
You may also file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission at http://www.fcc.gov/complaints.
If you received a false call and actually sent/confirmed funds and wish to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission you can do so at http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/Information#crnt&panel1-1
For more information on the topic:
King County District Courts Link: http://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/district-court/about/jury.aspx
Snopes Link: http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp
Check out a story by KIRO TV's Jesse Jones on this topic: