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Authorities say scammers are impersonating Wilson County sheriff’s deputies and trying to extort payments from area residents by claiming they’ve missed jury duty.
Wanda Samuel, sheriff’s office chief of staff, said deputies have received numerous reports regarding the jury duty scam and that several victims have fallen for it.
Samuel said the phone calls demanding payment for jury service fines are not legitimate, and those targeted in the scam shouldn’t pay.
She said the scammer is using a local number and is impersonating Capt. Ben Mercer, who actually does work for the sheriff’s office. The scammer tells the person that he or she has missed jury duty and needs to pay a fine or a warrant will be issued for his or her arrest, Samuel said.
“The scammer is instructing the victim to get a prepaid card and pay the fine in full amount,” she said. “In several of the reports, our victims indicated that the scammer would not allow them to hang up the telephone until the transaction was completed and the information on the prepaid care was received.”
Samuel said the bogus fines have been between $250 to $700.
Samuel said one victim indicated that the scammer asked for a Social Security number. Samuel said never give out personal information.
“The sheriff’s office will never call and ask for any type of payment over the telephone,” Samuel said. “Hang up the telephone, do not call the number back and call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office directly to confirm any information that has been presented.”
Residents can contact the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office at 252-237-2118 to report any scam.