Decatur police warn residents of jury duty scam calls

DECATUR, Ala. - Scammers are always thinking of a new way to try to get your money. A scam popping up may have you spending, hoping to keep your record clean.

Decatur police say this new scam accuses you of failing to fulfill your civic duties.

"They tell you that you've missed jury duty, and there's a warrant for your arrest." Detective T.D. Jones with the Decatur Police Financial Crimes Unit says the victim is told they can pay instead of going to jail. But the payment method is conveniently hard to track.

"They tell you to go to your local Walgreens or Walmart and get prepaid cards, whether that be Green Dot, Money Bag, Money Pay."

Funny thing about this scam, you might be getting the call as you're heading home from work. To make it more believable, scammers try to tell you to get to the courthouse immediately. Problem is, they tell you to do it right as the courthouse is closing.

"Then in a panic, they call the scammer back and say what do I do now, the courthouse is closed," explained Det. Jones. "That's when the scammer gets the information, they tell them to get the card information, the number on the card and the scratch off on the back of the card."

At that point, they have all they need. Meanwhile, the victim eventually finds out there was never a warrant and they've been scammed.

"Law enforcement is never going to call you and ask for money to clear out a warrant."

Det. Jones says it's a common scam among prison inmates.

Police want to remind you to never give out your personal information. They also urge you to shred any sensitive documents because your info can be stolen through data breaches, dumpster diving, or stolen mail.