SCAM ALERT from the King County Sheriff's Office

This article remains for archival purposes only. Due to the passage of time, some elements in the article may no longer be accurate or relevant.
Release Date: Jan. 30, 2015

There have been many fraudulent calls that are allegedly coming from the Sheriff’s Department saying there is a warrant out for your arrest for not showing up for Jury Duty or nonpayment of back taxes. This is a SCAM! The Sheriff’s office does not solicit for funds over the phone under any circumstances.

Criminals are now able to use false or “spoofed” numbers to make it appear that the call is coming from a Sheriff’s Office phone number, or from the Courts.

If someone contacts you and tells you there’s a warrant out for your arrest because you missed jury duty or that you owe back taxes, this is a scam! Discontinue the call and contact the King County Sheriff if you have any questions about the legitimacy of such a call.

The caller says that they are from the King County Sheriff’s Department (or from the Courts of King County) stating that because you missed jury duty there is a warrant for their arrest. This is a scam! They will tell you to pay hundreds of dollars to avoid being arrested. They use high pressure tactics and get you panicked by the way they talk to you. They are very professional sounding. Once they get you to agree to pay the money, they tell you to purchase a cash card (or have a card reloaded) from one of the well known stores (Walmart, Target, etc.). The caller will have you call them back with the special pin number on the card or keep you on the phone during the entire transaction. Within seconds these funds have been transferred into their account.

They will then tell you to go down to the King County Courthouse and sign up for jury duty and that King County will reimburse you with a cashier’s check for the amount you paid them.

The King County Sheriff’s Department or the Courts will never call you for money on a warrant or tell you in advance they are coming to arrest you.

If you are a victim of this scam:

You may file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission at www.fcc.gov/complaints.

If you received a false call and actually sent/confirmed funds and wish to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission you can do so at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/Information#crnt&panel1-1

For more information on the topic:

US Courts Link: www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/JuryService/JurorScams.aspx