Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office warning public about jury duty phone scams

LSO reports 8 to 10 calls a day, from residents being targeted by scammers
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:22 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:11 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Scammers and con artists are targeting you. The Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office reports a surge in daily scam calls across our community.

LCSO is receiving eight to 10 calls a day from residents targeted by scammers. They are telling residents to hang up and do not fall victim if a caller claims they have an active warrant for their arrest.

The scam hitting Lubbock County is trying to scare victims into giving them money by pretending to be law enforcement.

“Pretending to be with Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office or being with the U.S. District Court saying that they have a warrant out for their arrest because they missed jury duty,” Investigator with the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, Tex Recter, said.

But Recter says those threats are not real.

“The sheriff’s office is never going to call you and say you have a warrant, you need to give us money over the phone to handle this. That’s just never going to happen,” Recter said.

So, if this isn’t real, what does happen when you miss jury duty? We went to District Judge Douglas Freitag to find out. He said, you’ll get a jury summons in the mail, respond online or by mail, and you’ll get a report date. If you don’t show up, there are consequences but not what these scammers are threatening.

“Most of the time what’s going to happen is you’re going to end up getting rescheduled to a later date at a later time so that you can come in and take your service,” Judge Douglas Freitag said.

Whether you have received a jury summons or not, if you are targeted by a scam call, get a second opinion.

“If it doesn’t seem right, take that extra second before you end up losing thousands of dollars to make sure its correct,” Rector said.

Investigator Rector says these scammers are smart. They’re using information to get you to believe them. If anyone is asking you for bitcoin, gift cards, or banking information, hang up the phone. If you do fall victim, it’s likely you will not get your money back.

“It’s a lot more difficult to follow the money and prosecute whoever gets the money in the end because it changes hands so many times so quickly,” Rector said.

The sheriff’s office says if you receive a call like this, hang up and call the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office. Do not give out any personal information to anyone over the phone.