Jury Duty Scam Sweeps Through Boone County

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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department received reports of another phone scam that is sweeping through the county Tuesday night. 

A resident called the department after receiving three phone calls from someone attempting to collect money from her. The caller claimed he was a sergeant with the Boone County Sheriff's Department, and that the resident had a warrant out for her arrest for failing to appear for jury duty. 

"The scammer told the resident to go to a store and get a $500 cash reserve card and the incident would be forgotten and cleared from their record. That, of course, is not how we do things here," Major Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff's Department said. 

The actual procedure to deal with this kind of an incident is an uniformed deputy will serve you, in person, with a "Show Cause" order. A show cause order is an order to appear in court to explain why you didn't report for jury duty. 

A similar scam passed through Cole County in January. One resident was tricked out of $500 when she received a letter claiming she had missed jury duty and needed to pay a fine to Green Dot, a corporation that issues pre-paid visa cards.

This is not the only scam that is trying to pull one over on residents of Boone County. The Sheriff's Department is also looking into a "Publishers Clearing House" scam, where the caller is wanting to arrange for the person to collect their prize, and a phone scam where the caller claims to call on behalf of a relative that has been arrested in another state and needs bail money.

The Sheriff's Department is advising people to always treat any caller asking for money with skepticism, and only deal with people you have met and dealt with in person. 

"Never, Never, Never give out any personal information on the phone. 9 times out of 10 when you think it is a scam, you're right." Major Reddin said.