Scram you Scam

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A couple of days ago I read very funny Facebook posting from Holley Broughton about a phone call she got on her cell from “Deputy Howard” with the Durham Sheriff’s Department about warrants for her failing to appear for jury duty. Holley got right on the guy and determined this was a scam.

 

It was very providential that I had read her whole post because I too received a call on my cell phone today. A local 919 number came up on my car as I was driving so I answered it. A “Deputy Johnson” asked for Dana Lange and I asked whom he was with. As soon as he said the Durham Sheriff’s office my antenna were up. Heaven help me if a real officer ever calls me because the way I spoke to this man should have gotten me arrested.

 

“How do I know you are a real Deputy?” I asked him. Without skipping a beat he rattled off a string of numbers claiming they were his badge number. “BFD, I told him, that means nothing to me.” He tried to get me to verify my address, which he had right, but I did not confirm, nor did I ever confirm I was who he was calling for. He explained that I had not shown up for a federal trial I was called to for jury duty and there was a warrant out for me, but that since the judge had checked my record and determined I was a good citizen I could get myself cleared by filling out an affidavit. I should have told him I was not a good citizen and seen what he said then.

 

I told the “deputy” he could send the person he was looking for a registered letter explaining all this. That was when he went into his scare tactics saying that if I got stopped for any reason and the officer found the outstanding warrant out for my arrest I would have to be taken in and may spend time in jail before the problem could be cleared up. I was not falling for this and this guy was good. He went on to say that I could have my lawyer talk with him to clear this up, “You do have a lawyer?” He asked. “A really mean one,” I replied. “But I still don’t have any proof you are who you say you are. Let me talk to your supervisor.”

 

At this point I was just having fun with these guys, wasting their time so they did not have time to call other poor people who are not Facebook friends with Holley. I was put on hold and after a minute a “Lieutenant” came on the line. He was very well practiced in making this a believable scam. When I told him I would only handle this issue in person he gave me the real Durham Sherriff’s office address. He did say that I needed to finish the “case” on the phone with the “deputy” before I came into to the sheriff’s office and if I hung up the warrant for my arrest would be issued.

 

Oh so fun! I hung up right away and called the real sheriff’s office where an investigator confirmed this was a big scam they were investigating. I had some information, like the 919 number they called me from and he wanted a description of the men’s voice, like that was helpful. He asked that I spread the word about the scam since many people have fallen for giving these men money to clear up their warrants.

 

The bottom line is the cops don’t call anyone. If it is a small thing they send you a registered letter, but if it is serious they just show up at your door unannounced. Tell your friends and family. These guys are good and had I not been alerted by Holley I might have gotten taken, or at least been scared.


2 Comments on “Scram you Scam”

  1. Stuart Wright says:

    Scams never seem to die out. This one has been around for a decade or so and has been reported on Snopes.com. Your can read about it at http://www.snopes.com/fraud/identity/juryduty.asp

  2. ellenpunderwood says:

    I hope they arrest the scammers!


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