Clallam County Sheriff's Office: Beware of phone scam using jury duty ploy

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — It's a scam, the Clallam County Sheriff's Office says.

If you get a call purportedly from a deputy asking for personal information, hang up, the Sheriff's Office said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“As a matter of policy and procedure, the Sheriff's Office does not call individuals and ask for personal information over the telephone,” spokesman Jim Borte said in a statement.

“If the Sheriff's Office needs personal information from any individual, they will contact them in person.”

In the latest scam, a person pretending to be a deputy sheriff called a Port Angeles-area woman Monday after 5 p.m. and told her she had failed to respond to a jury summons and that a warrant had been issued for her arrest.

“The citizen became suspicious when the caller attempted to obtain their home address and other personal information,” Borte said.

“Fortunately, the citizen did not provide any personal information. Instead, she terminated the phone call and called the Sheriff's Office to verify whether the call was legitimate or not.”

Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said the woman called both the Sheriff's Office and the Clallam County Courthouse on Tuesday to ask about the call.

“She was very thorough, and we applaud the method she used to make sure she wasn't victimized,” Peregrin said.

Borte said that when the recipient of the call says a summons was never received, the caller will say he or she will require information for “verification purposes” to “cancel the arrest warrant” and ask for such sensitive information as address, Social Security number, date of birth and even bank or credit card information.

“If you receive such a call, do not give out any sensitive personal information. Hang up immediately and report the incident,” Borte said.

“The phone call was an attempt to gather personal information from a citizen in order to steal money or obtain sufficient information for identity theft.”

Peregrin said this week's call is the first the Sheriff's Office has received about a scam of this type.

“This is the first one, but we know it's been occurring in King and Snohomish County,” Peregrin said.

“It looks like it's moved out this way.”

No such calls have been received by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, said Joe Nole, chief criminal deputy.

The state Attorney General's Office provides updated information on common scams at www.atg.wa.gov.

Complaints can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.ftc.gov.

Last modified: July 24. 2014 7:36PM
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