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Callers Scam For Immediate Fines Over Missed Jury Service

Harris County law enforcement officials are warning local residents about scams trying to convince people they owe phony fines for missed jury service.

Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel warns of scams to get phony fines for missed jury service.Ed Mayberry | Houston Public Media
Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel warns of scams to get phony fines for missed jury service.
No law enforcement officer will ever ask for money over the phone.Ed Mayberry | Houston Public Media
No law enforcement officer will ever ask for money over the phone.

Here’s how the scam works: con men posing as police officers demand immediate payment of fines for missed jury service. They typically demand that callers use prepaid debit cards. Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel says your caller I.D. shows a legitimate phone number, and the person on the other end sounds threatening and official. “…to appear to be from a position of authority, using real deputy names, using real elected official names, using real county addresses.”

Attorney Keith Woods was duped out of $1,000 during a jury service scam in August. “The person on the other end will sound very official. He basically told me that the next day when I would go to court, a good chance the bailiff would pull me aside, with my clients there, and arrest me for the warrants that were issued. And I could not have that.”  

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says no one should provide payments, credit card information or personal information such as birth dates and social security numbers. “No law enforcement officer will ever ask you to get a gift card or a debit card and ask you for the numbers from that card.”

Official communications will always come by mail. No law enforcement officer will ever ask for money over the phone.

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Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

News Anchor

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with much of his early career as a rock’n’roll disc jockey. He worked as part of a morning show team on album rock station KLBJ-FM, and later co-hosted a morning show at adult rock station KGSR, both in Austin. Ed also conducted...

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