Friday, September 22, 2023

Jury Duty Scam in Tarrant County

tarrantcountyCitizens are being contacted by phone by a man that identifies himself as Lieutenant Allen with the Sheriff’s office, Police Dept, and Constable’s office.

The caller informs the citizen that they failed to report for jury duty and a fine has been assessed.  The fine ranges from $2,000 to $4,000.  The caller advises the citizen that there is a warrant for their arrest and they must report to court. The caller usually tells them to report to Judge Thomas Wright at a specific court location like 100 W. Weatherford, Room 4C.  The name of the judge is generally the same but the location varies.  The citizen is instructed to go to a local Walmart or grocery store to obtain a Green Dot Money Card which is a pre-paid reloadable debit card.

The scam artists are using disposable cell phones so they have no problem giving the citizen a phone number to call them back.  Also, they tell the citizen they can contact ADA Clemmons with Tarrant County District Attorney’s office to verify the information.  Once the citizen gets the Green Dot Money Card, they are instructed to give the Green Dot Money Card information over the phone which will satisfy the fine and the warrant will be dismissed.  This allows the scam artist to get the money so there is no actual face-to-face contact.  The scam artists sound very convincing over the phone.  They threaten the citizen with jail and fines in order to get them to comply.

Tarrant County Jury Services would never contact you by phone to pay a fine for failing to appear for jury service.  Typically, we would send a failed to appear notice before taking any action.  If a warrant is issued for your arrest, there is no warning phone call.   The courts do not allow citizens to pay a fine in lieu of jury service.  A fine can be assessed, and in some cases jail time but it would still result in the jury service being rescheduled to a later date.

If you are contacted, write down the phone number the person is calling from and do not give the caller any personal information, then call the non-emergency dispatch at (817) 743-4522.