The Putnam County Sheriff's Office wants to alert Putnam County residents of a recent increase in "Jury Duty Scams" targeting seniors and possible other residents of the county. In the scam, a caller identifies himself as a Lieutenant (or some other rank)and states that the resident missed a State Grand Jury Duty date or some other type of jury duty and there is a warrant for their arrest.
The caller then advises the resident that they will need to pay a fine to clear their history or face imprisonment. The alleged "fines" total thousands of dollars. The caller usually insists that the fine be paid by debit card or Green Dot cards. The caller than asks them to call him back on their cell phone and requires them to stay on that phone call throughout the rest of the process.
"This type of scam preys on people's fears and their limited knowledge of how our criminal justice system works," Sheriff Eddie Farris said. "Unfortunately, there have already been a number of people in our community who have been taken advantage of by this sophisticated group of criminals. We are working with other states as well as the FBI to try and put a stop to it, but the best defense is educating the public so that they will not respond to the intimidation and persuasive arguments made by these criminals."
If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office or any law enforcement agency and they are asking you for money, hang up and come to the Sheriff's Office. Do not accept a phone number from the caller. Do not give the caller any personal information, and do not call the Sheriff's Office from the same phone that the caller reached you on.
No member of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office ever calls anyone in the community demanding money. If you owe a legitimate fine of any kind, you are always welcome to come to the Sheriff's office and pay it in person or discuss it with one of the deputies.
If you have any information on these scams, you are encouraged to call the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at (931) 528-8484. All reports will be kept anonymous.