The Better Business Bureau warns consumers of a shrewd “jury duty scam” phone call used by fraudsters to scam money from unsuspecting citizens. The scammer offers to help consumers avoid jail time by paying a fine through Money Pak cards.
Scam artists, posing as police Lieutenant “Jeff Johnson”, are targeting citizens in the Murfreesboro area indicating that a loved one did not show up for jury duty and will need to appear before a judge to contest an arrest warrant. “Lieutenant Jeff Johnson” further states that the court appearance and jail time can be avoided if the fine is paid immediately using a Money Pak or Green Dot card.
The amount of money requested is reported to vary between $120-$300. The Murfreesboro Sheriff’s department reports receiving numerous calls from local Murfreesboro residents. One resident lost $130 after falling for this fraudsters scam.
BBB warns consumers that Green Dot and Money Pak cards are often the preferred tools used by scammers to cheat unsuspecting consumers out of their money.
Consumers are urged to protect themselves by verifying the legitimacy of all phone calls that request payment of fines, services or products by Money Pak or Green Dot cards. When the consumer follows instructions and provides the Money Pak card number, the scammer quickly convert the Money Pak number to cash and disappears.
“Lieutenant Johnson” continues to target unsuspecting consumers in Middle TN as evidenced by numerous recent reports. If you have had a call from a “Lieutenant Jeff Johnson” please contact BBB at 615-242-4222
Officers of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department DO NOT use this method to contact citizens who fail to report for jury duty. Official notifications are handled through the mail.
How can you avoid falling victim to this scam
- Call the municipal courts directly to inquire about any jury duty you may have been assigned to. The courts can check their records to confirm if you are scheduled for jury duty.