CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — A nationwide scam has made its way to West Virginia, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.             
Nationally there have been reports of a scam involving Jury Duty that we have not been immune to locally. The caller will spoof the phone number for a local law enforcement agency and claim to be a current or former employee of the department adding a level of credibility to the call. They will tell you that you missed Jury Duty and that there is a warrant out for your arrest, but if you pay the fine, you can avoid the embarrassment and hassle of being arrested.
The callers can be aggressive. They can be convincing. They can be scary. But it is a scam.
Don’t fall victim to this and other similar scams. There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself:
– Collect as much information from them as possible. (Name, number on the caller ID, number they tell you to call)
– Make an excuse as to why you will need to call them back. (i.e. Have to move money between accounts or need to verify with your spouse where the funds should be taken from.)
– Ask for the number you can call them back on and then look up the number for the agency they claimed to be calling from and call that agency yourself or, if you are leery of speaking over the phone, go to that agency’s office in person to verify the circumstances and provide the information for where you were to call back or the link to where you were to pay online.
Do NOT give personal information or payment information out over the phone.

“99.9% of the time law enforcement will not advise you that you have a warrant over the phone, especially not for a random charge you haven’t already been contacted by law enforcement about… like missing jury duty. I can guarantee you that 100% of the time the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will not demand payment of fines in lieu of arrests and especially not from PayPal, Venmo, ApplePay, Google Wallet, Bitcoin, etc or for you to go to the store, buy gift cards and then call them back with the numbers. Fees associated with arrest or any court document are always paid to the court,” according to the press release.