FLEMINGTON, NJ – A long-running telephone scam seeking payment for false arrest warrants and overdue payments to the Internal revenue Service has taken a new twist.
Hunterdon Sheriff Fred W. Brown said today that the twist involves the threat of arrest for not appearing for Jury Duty as summonsed.
The scam involves a caller claiming he or she is with the Sheriff’s Office, will give an officer’s name, and has a warrant for that person’s arrest, Brown said in a press release.
The imposter then goes on to say that it can be handled either “civilly” or “criminally,” but that if they agree to pay a civil fine, there would be no arrest.
The caller will give instructions on using a pre-paid debit card from a major bank or a Green Dot Card. The caller will even go so far as to name stores where these pre-paid cards can be purchased.
Brown said that this is the latest variation to the false warrant scam and the IRS scam demanding overdue tax payment in the same manner.
The caller will provide a call back phone number where payment can be paid. The phone number will be answered falsely identifying it as the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff stressed that legitimate law enforcement agencies will not tell people to provide money card information to avoid arrest. He also cautioned that even if the caller has some name or personal knowledge, the receiver of the call should not provide any personal identification such as a date of birth or Social Security number.
Receivers of these scam calls should try to gather names, the phone number given, any location if given, and report them to local police, Brown said.