Jury duty scam making a comeback in Harris County

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It isn't new, but the jury duty scam is making a comeback in Harris County, according to the sheriff's office.

They want to remind the public about the ongoing scam. Suspects call their victims on the phone claiming to be law enforcement officers collecting fines for phony missed jury duty. The scammer will try to intimidate the victim by threatening to put the victim in jail if the money is not paid.

The impersonator will ask the victim to purchase pre-paid gift cards and provide him/her with the card information when he/she calls back. In most cases, the victim has no knowledge of any jury service summons being issued to them.

In some cases the scammer falsely claims to be a deputy or lieutenant with the Harris county Sheriff's Office, and uses real names of employees of the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say this scam has been in the Harris County area for the last few years.

In 2015, one victim contacted ABC13 after being scammed and losing $1,650.

READ MORE: Jury duty scam leaves victim broke

ABC13 has also reported scammers targeting Richmond residents this year.

READ MORE: Police issue warning about scam targeting Richmond residents

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says it does not solicit or collect money for unpaid tickets, fees, or any other type of collections over the phone.

If you receive a phone call that you think may be a scam, never give any personal information such as birthdates or social security numbers. Instead, make the scammer answer your questions. Always get a call back phone number and never send money to anyone you don't know.

Anyone who has been a victim of this scam is urged to call the Harris County Sheriff's Office Financial Crime unit at (713) 374-9210.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.