On January 13, reports were released to the public that a jury duty scam was taking place. The next day, an update was issued that stated more victims of the scam had come forward.
Today, Smith County District Clerk Lois Rogers contacted the Smith County Sheriff's Office saying that on February 10, a Tyler woman reported being contacted, but refused to give the caller any money.
An individual purporting to be with the Smith County Sheriff's Office is contacting individuals claiming that they owe fines for missing jury duty. This person is not connected to the Sheriff’s Office.
In January, a man contacted an individual in the Whitehouse area saying that he owed a fine for missing jury duty. He instructed the individual to go to a local pharmacy and buy a pre-paid money card and then call back with the numbers on the back of the card.
The individual did as instructed, but was then contacted again by the man saying that the card did not go through and that they would need to purchase another and call back with the new numbers. Before the man called back with the second set of numbers, he spoke with the Whitehouse Police Department, who told him it was a scam.
Also in January, a Smith County woman was allegedly taken for $500 through the same scam tactics.
Everyone who receives a jury summons should report for jury duty as instructed, but no member of the Smith County Sheriff's Office or any other law enforcement agency will contact a citizen and ask for a fine to be paid in this manner. There are currently no outstanding warrants related to any jury summons and no one from the Smith County Sheriff's Office or any other law enforcement agency is collecting fines by phone.
If anyone receives a similar call, please contact the Smith County Sheriff's Office immediately at 903-566-6600.