Victims warn about jury duty scam in Rutherford County

(Photo: WKRN)

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A jury duty scam in Rutherford County is apparently targeting more people.

Two victims came forward this week saying they were threatened to be thrown in jail if they didn’t pay up.

The scammers claimed the victims failed to show up for jury duty.

News 2 did some checking and the number the scammers were using was from a phone out of Carthage, Tennessee.

News 2 called the number and and received this message, “Hello this is Lt. Reed down at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. I can be reached back at my office at 615-489-9285, again 615- 489-9285. This matter is urgent.”

News 2 obtained voice messages from a another victim who was scammed out of $1,800 of his hard earned money.

“Yes, this is Capt. John with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, your call was disconnected and if you don’t get in touch with us within five minutes and contact me back with this contact order, you will be apprehended and detained at all cost,” the voice message said.

The victim said he received two calls from two different men claiming there was a bench warrant for his arrest due to failing to show up for grand jury.

The man was instructed to purchase Money Pak or pre-paid American Express cards.

They told him they don’t accept credit or cash and gave him an option to load the money on the commissary kiosk in the lobby of the sheriff’s office.

The next day, another Murfreesboro man received a called saying he had missed jury duty.

“He said, ‘You need to post a bond.’ And I said, ‘What?’” recalled the victim, who did not want to be identified.

“He said you have to pay bond and then once you pay it, I said, ‘How do I get my money back?’ and he said, ‘We’ll just give you a cashier check here once you bond the bond and clear these matters up.’”

The victim said he went to Kroger and purchased three cards at $400 each.

“I fell for it; I fell full for it. I didn’t know I’m just an average person,” the victim said. “It was real, it was real. I got the cards.”

But when he saw his sister and dad, they decided to do some checking, since his sister’s husband is a police chief.

“If I wouldn’t have seen my sister and had her call my brother-in-law, I probably would have gone through it.”

He’s hoping by telling his story no one else falls victim.

“That’s what I told the police officer, I said a woman or an older person would fall for it, and that’s not right,” he said.

Police agencies remind that they do not operate that way. If a person has an outstanding warrant, officers track them down and arrest them.

The best thing a person can do if they receive a call similar to those mentioned above is just hang up. Anyone who receives a call similar to those mentioned above

“The Sheriff’s office will never call you and ask for money for missing grand jury,” Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said. “If you receive a call like this and have questions, call the Sheriff’s office at 615-898-7770.”