An aggressive scammer posing as a sheriff’s deputy is targeting York County residents, telling them they missed jury duty and to purchase a prepaid money card, then call back, according to Sheriff William King.

King said in a news release Monday that the phony deputy has been calling residents and saying that a judge has issued a summons against them for failure to appear and contempt of court.

The caller says the residents must go to court to get the issue cleared up, but in the meantime they should go to the sheriff’s office and place a surety bond and sign an affidavit that they did not miss jury duty, King said.

The scammer then tells residents to buy a Green Dot prepaid money card and call the “deputy” back.

“We suspect that when the citizen calls back, the scammer will ask for the 14 digit identification code on the back of the Green Dot money card,” King said. “Once that code is given, the scammer can deplete the card without even having it in their possession.”

The sheriff’s office has received numerous complaints about the scam and suspects there may be more, King said. The caller is very pushy and aggressive and threatens residents with arrest if they do not comply, he said.

A similar scam was reported last week in Kennebec County. In that situation, police warned that the scammer was threatening people with arrest if they did not purchase the prepaid card. In June, a Benton resident fell victim to a variation of the scam, and paid $1,000 worth of iTunes gift cards, believing it would be a way to avoid arrest for nonpayment of taxes.

King said residents should immediately report any suspected scam calls to law enforcement.

No law enforcement agency would ever ask someone to purchase a prepaid money card, King said.


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