The Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller's Office has had several cases in Pasco County where scammers contacted victims claiming those individuals had missed jury duty.
Pasco Clerk Nikki Alvarez-Sowles explains, the main red flag is getting a phone call from someone claiming to work in her office regarding missed jury duty. “Here is what I want the public to know, that will never happen. If someone calls you and identifies him or herself as an employee of my office demanding payment in the form of gift cards, it’s a scam.”
Here’s how it works. The scam artist calls the victim and tells the individual they missed jury duty and they have to pay a fine. The crook explains the easiest way to pay the fine is to purchase gift cards and then call a certain number. Once the victim calls the number, the scam artist asks him or her to read off the gift card numbers to make sure they are legit. The final step in the process, the criminal asks the victim to send the physical cards to the Clerk’s Office.
We have now received word that similar instances have happened in other Florida Counties including Sarasota and Manatee. If you receive a call like this, notify law enforcement.