More victims, new warning in Smith Co. jury duty scam - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

More victims, new warning in Smith Co. jury duty scam

Posted: Updated:
An empty jury box inside a Smith County courtroom. An empty jury box inside a Smith County courtroom.
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

    Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:44:03 GMT
    You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.More >>
    You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.More >>
  • Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:54:43 GMT
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:45:11 GMT
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) -

More victims are coming forward after losing money in the Smith County jury duty scam. The total has risen to six people.

All of them have lost money to a man posing as a county worker and telling people they'll get in trouble for missing jury duty unless they go and buy a prepaid money card and turn it over to him.

Jury duty is one of those certainties in life, and you can be equally certain that when Smith County's central jury room fills up each week it's always missing some of the people who got the infamous yellow summons in the mail. But if you're one of those missing people, a phone call is unlikely.

"We do not collect money for that by phone," Smith County Sheriff's Department Spokesperson John Moore said. "No agency does that."

In fact, Moore said you'd be more likely to get a knock at the door.

"I have seen from personal experience when I was at jury duty where someone was there in the morning and they weren't there after the break and they did send someone after them," Moore said. "So they do take it seriously."

And yet at least six people have been fooled into buying prepaid debit cards and then handing over the numbers to a thief thinking the alternative is jail time.

Earlier this week a Whitehouse police officer discovered the first known victim of this scam during a traffic stop.

The driver inside was on his cell phone and he didn't want to hang up because the man on the other end was giving him directions on where to go and how to pay for missing jury duty. But to the officer it just didn't add up. So he took the phone and then asked who was on the other end of the line.

The scammer was bold enough to say he was a federal agent and that the officer should let the man go.

The officer did let the man go with two warnings: One for the traffic stop and a big one about the scam.

Most of the prepaid cards are being bought at local pharmacies. At least one store manager said the scam, unfortunately, is no surprise.

"I've stopped three of them," Walgreens Manager Jared Stevens said. "They're most of the time elderly customers. They come in and they say that they've won a contest."

As of Wednesday evening there were no warrants out for people who have missed jury duty in Smith County. Moore cautioned that warrants for failure to appear at jury duty could be issued at any time, depending on the circumstances involved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • House GOP cancels vote on immigration bill

    House GOP cancels vote on immigration bill

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:46:25 GMT
    Washington (CNN) -- On the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.House Republicans canceled a vote on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.More >>
    Washington (CNN) -- On the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.House Republicans canceled a vote on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.More >>
  • New Summerfield family awaits word if body found belongs to missing loved one

    New Summerfield family awaits word if body found belongs to missing loved one

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:22:54 GMT
    Missing person Javier JimenezMissing person Javier Jimenez
    NEW SUMMERFIELD -- Jessica Jimenez is consoled by family members after learning police have found a body just days after her father was reported missing. Javier Jimenez, 44, was last seen leaving his home in New Summerfield on the morning of July 23. More >>
    NEW SUMMERFIELD -- Jessica Jimenez is consoled by family members after learning police have found a body just days after her father was reported missing. Javier Jimenez, 44, was last seen leaving his home in New Summerfield on the morning of July 23. More >>
  • Nine Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Texas

    Nine Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Texas

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:58:47 GMT
    AUSTIN (KYTX)- Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed nine Texas cases of Chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.More >>
    AUSTIN (KYTX)- Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed nine Texas cases of Chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.