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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Oct 26

Beware Of Jury Duty Scam

Posted on October 26, 2016 at 8:36 AM by Communications Department

“Don’t fall for the call” is the warning from the Newport News Sheriff’s Office and Police Department if you receive a call stating that you have missed jury duty. According to AARP, Inc., the jury duty scam remains one of the most successful multipurpose intimidation impostor schemes. Fraudsters can not only get a quick payoff, but also receive enough personal details for future identity theft.
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For more than a month, city residents have alerted law enforcement about phone calls threatening them with arrest if they don’t pay the fine for missing jury duty. The caller usually says he is with the sheriff's office, sometimes indicating he is a deputy. DON'T SEND MONEY. HANG UP! The Newport News Sheriff’s Office wants you to know that you will never get a call like that from authorities or another government agency.

Earlier this year, the same Jury Duty Scam made another appearance. It was so upsetting to one Newport News couple that they came to the jail where the husband was going to turn himself in because they did not have the $1,500 to pay to caller.

Major David Hughes with the Newport News Sheriff’s Office said to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 757-926-8535 if you receive this call. “First of all, know that if someone does miss jury duty or anything related to jury duty, there will NOT be a phone call made in reference to that. It would be done through the U.S. Mail,” he explains.

“If you actually were to miss jury duty, it would be a ‘show cause’ issue. You would have to come to court, explain to the judge why you missed jury duty and pay the fine if one was levied. But we would NEVER ask anyone for money up front,” he stresses.
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Major Hughes says these and other scams seem more real because the caller often knows the person’s name and information and that helps to makes the scam more convincing.

You can get information on reporting frauds and scams in Virginia on the Attorney General's website. If you are calling from the Richmond area or from outside of Virginia, you can call the Virginia Consumer Protection Hotline at 804-786-2042. If you are calling from anywhere in Virginia other than Richmond, you can call the toll free number 800-552-9963. Business hours are weekdays from 8:30 AM. to 5:00 PM. (Photo courtesy of the FBI)