Monterey County

Monterey County Court warns people of jury duty scam

Scammers call asking for money and for your arrest

Jury duty scam

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - It was early in the morning on May 1 when Kelly Potter of Pacific Grove woke up to an alarming phone message.

"My name is Lieutenant Gore, I am calling on behalf of the sheriff's department in regards to a failure to appear warrant," said the voice on the message.

"With no emotion in his voice says, 'ma'am we have a warrant out for your arrest, you missed jury duty,'" Potter said. "I broke down, I was freaking out."

The caller told Potter she had to pay a fine of $500.

"I went out to my living room and called my best friend of 30 years," she remembered. "The minute I talked to him, he went 'scam, Kelly, scam.'"

The Monterey County Superior Court has seen a recent rash of scams like Potter's, but it assures people the court would never ask for credit card numbers, bank account information, or social security numbers.

The United States Courts said its been receiving complaints of this scam dating back to 2004.

The scammer didn't stop calling. He tried to claim Potter was having an anxiety attack and left another message.

"I am going to dispatch a deputy to your residence ma'am to see about your condition," the voice said. "Unfortunately, that means he may apprehend you on your warrant."

But Potter said she knew the only condition she had was a note from her doctor saying she was exempt from jury duty.

The scammer called Potter eight times on her cell phone and left a call back number. Central Coast News tried calling the number, but there was no answer.

"I felt instantly at ease knowing it was a scam and then angry because you should never do that to people," she said.

Potter said she filed a police report with Pacific Grove Police, which is exactly what Monterey County Superior Court officials say you should do if you ever receive this call.

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