Local jury service, check fraud phone scams resurface

(File)
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Bell County residents are again getting calls from scammers demanding fines for failure to report for jury duty or for check fraud.

Ten cases have been filed with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department in the past two months, Assistant Deputy Chief T.J. Cruz said Friday.

In some cases, someone claiming to be a sergeant with Bell County called residents and told them they had to pay fines for missing jury duty and in other cases the caller claimed to be a an investigator with Bell County and demanded fines for check fraud, Assistant Chief Deputy T.J. Cruz said Friday.

In both cases, the callers ask their victims to buy gift cards with values equal to the purported fines, which are generally more than $500.

“Sometimes the ‘payment’ goes through and other times, the victim is informed, ‘The payment didn’t go through, you’ll need to get another card and call us back,’” Cruz said.

“In any case, the threat of officers coming to their house for arrest is given and most callers will pay,” he said.

The calls are being placed from local numbers, he said.

The scammers don’t actually say they are with the sheriff’s department or county clerk’s office, but refer to themselves as either a sergeant or an investigator with Bell County, he said.