PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Westmoreland County is warning people about a new phone scam.
Several people have received a call from a man who claims to be a “Deputy Walker” from the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office.
He’s telling people they have to pay a fine for missing jury duty.
“Calling and asking for people to go to Walmart, get a $500 MoneyGram, and give him the MoneyGram numbers. The money would be wired to him,” said Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held.
The caller then threatens anyone who asks questions.
“Couple of the victims that we interviewed stated that when they asked questions or put up a little bit of a resistance, the person on the other side of the phone stated that a warrant officer would be coming out to their house immediately to arrest them,” said Sheriff Held.
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When it comes to jury duty in Pennsylvania, a jury summons is a court order, and if you fail to appear, you can be held in contempt of court.
But some people chose to throw the summons out anyway.
“We do get no-shows, and what we basically do is put them back into the pool,” says Claire Capristo, the administrator at the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
That means they will get summoned again and again until they respond. Each failure to respond could cost the no-show $500 and 10 days in jail.
But none of that would happen without a court hearing first. The court system would not call you on the phone and neither would the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office.
“If you don’t show up, you are notified in person, not by a phone call from somebody asking for $500,” said Sheriff Held.