Fairfax County authorities warn of jury duty scam - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Fairfax County authorities warn of jury duty scam

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Fairfax County law enforcement officials are warning citizens to watch out for a jury duty scam.

One of the victims spoke with FOX 5 in hopes to prevent others from being conned.

The warning is out there from authorities, but the scam is still going on.

Someone is still impersonating someone in the sheriff’s office at the number left on Julia Shultz’s voicemail.

“I never suspected I would fall for something like this,” she said.

When all was said and done, she was out $312.

The person who called her claimed to be Steve Elbert in the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office and suggested she had ignored a summons and skipped out on jury duty.

“He proceeded to say in order not to get arrested, I would need to go to a gas station or a 7-Eleven and buy something called a MoneyPak,” Shultz said.

He told her no credit cards allowed.

“They would then call me back once they ran it through to give me a verification number, which I then would put on a subpoena that I would be receiving the next day,” she said.

Shultz said she asked a lot of questions, but he was very detailed and spoke with a lot of authority.

But law enforcement says if you get a call, don't fall for it.

“The big message here is law enforcement is not going to call you or threaten you with an arrest or demand money for payment for any reason,” said Eddy Azcarate of the Fairfax County Police Department.

We did meet with the real Steve Elbert. He is a lieutenant who works as the public information officer for the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office.

“I think it's unfortunate that people are being called,” Lt. Elbert said. “They think the scammers are being genuine because they're using my name. They’re using the chief judge's name.”

It just goes to show you how easy it is for scam artists to find people's names on websites and abuse the use of them.

Police and the sheriff's office say if there is ever any doubt, contact the court.

Be skeptical if anyone demands a hard-to-trace Green Dot MoneyPak or wants you to wire money through Western Union. And if you don't like the sound of a call, hang up.

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