COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Area residents are being warned by the Cochise County Clerk of the Superior Court not to fall victim to a scam relating to jury duty.
A number of people have lost money after following instructions given by telephone scammers, who claim a warrant for arrest has been issued because the person failed to appear at court, explained Mary Ellen Dunlap.
"The resident receives a call from an imposter posing as a local law enforcement officer from the Cochise County Sheriff's Office," she said. "They use names like Sergeant Smith, Sergeant Cooper or Lieutenant Williams, or sometimes they falsely claim Judge Irwin requested a summons for them to appear in court because they failed to show for jury duty, or they use the Jury Commissioner's name."
The scammer then demands payment of a bond or fine by telling the victim they must purchase debit or gift cards to avoid enforcement of the arrest warrant. The resident is pressured to call another number and provide the debit or gift card information.
"Unfortunately, there have been many victims that have paid and lost their money," said Dunlap, who is also the County's Jury Commissioner. "Notices for jury duty are mailed and even if you missed your assigned time to show up we would not call you to report for jury duty. Law enforcement agencies will also not call you for failure to appear."
She added, "Our office will not ask you to provide personal information, or to purchase debit or gift cards to pay a bond. If you receive a call, protect yourself and hang up."
Anyone who receives a call from a jury duty scammer is advised to hang up and immediately report the call to their local or county law enforcement agency.
If you have questions about jury duty, call the Cochise County Superior Court Jury Office at (520) 432-8585.