‘Jury’ scam reported

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 6, 2008

The Covington County Sheriff’s Office is warning county residents to be on the lookout for scammers posing as employees of the Covington County Circuit Clerk’s office.

“These people are calling and asking residents why they missed serving on the jury for grand jury,” said a CCSO spokesman. “The residents are being asked to verify personal information such as date of birth, their Social Security number and address so that a new notice can be mailed out.”

The calls appear to very legitimate, the spokesman said.

“These people are even using the names of personnel working in the clerk’s office,” he said. “They state that they need this information to mail out new jury duty notices.”

Residents who receive these types of calls are urged to validate any of the information the person on the phone gives them.

“If they tell you they’re calling from the clerk’s office, you can check that by using your caller ID,” the spokesman said. “Generally numbers from the courthouse begin with ‘222,’ ‘427’ or ‘428.’

“If you don’t have caller ID, get a call back number,” he said. “You can always call the courthouse and confirm if someone there needs information from you; however, odds are they already know.”

Circuit Clerk Roger Powell said the office always sends out notices for jury duty by mail.

“This office does not contact anyone for jury duty by phone,” he said. “Notices for jury duty are always sent out by mail. It’s printed on a postcard type mailing. It gives the date and time for you to be here and that’s how we do it.

“We don’t call people to let them know they’ve missed jury duty,” he said. “Neither do we continue jurors over to the next session (of grand jury). We also have all the information we need such as one’s name and address. We don’t care about all that other.”

Powell also said if a resident receives this type of call to not give out any personal information.

“Call the sheriff’s office and tell them you’ve gotten this type of call,” he said. “Don’t give out any information over the telephone.”

To contact the CCSO, call 428-2640.