“Jury Duty” scam phone calls continue to plague the Treasure Valley

Here’s a tip that’ll help keep Ada County residents from being victimized by the latest phone scam.

Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies will never call and threaten to arrest you — or any member of your family — because you missed jury duty.

Deputies will also never ask you to place funds for payment on a pre-paid credit card to “cancel the arrest warrant” for missing that phony jury duty.

Dozens of Ada County residents received phone calls over the week from scammers pretending to work for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.

This is same scam that targeted Treasure Valley residents several times over the last year, including last spring and late summer. The calls seem to come in waves.

In most recent cases, the scam caller identifies himself as “Deputy Thomas” and requests personal information so he can clear the person’s name and cancel the mythical arrest warrant for missing jury duty. In many cases “Deputy Thomas” leaves a message that a specific family member needs to call.

People who call are greeted by someone who says “Sheriff’s Department.” “Deputy Thomas” then explains the mythical amount people “owe” has been anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000.

The scammers tell their victims to go to a store, get a pre-paid credit card (like a Green Dot), load it up with money, and then call a phone number with the card information.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office and Ada County Jury Services Department began getting phone calls from concerned citizens about the scam late last week. Those calls have continued through the weekend.

The scammers acquire phone numbers with a 208 area code to make the scam seem more credible.

One number being used by scammers this week is (208) 900-8207.

The Better Business Bureau says people can protect themselves from becoming victims of identify theft by never giving out any personal information when getting an unsolicited phone call.

Giving out sensitive information over the phone — both personal and financial — can put people at risk for fraud.

If you did miss jury duty in Ada County, you would get a letter in the mail.

If you have received one of these scam phone calls, contact the Ada County Sheriff’s Office at 377-6790 or the Better Business Bureau online at BBB.org.

Scammers attempted the same con at least three times over the past two years.

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