Appellants falsely launch scams regarding warrants, prosecutions, jury duty

Phone crooks falsely claiming to be law enforcement or justice officials have called residents in several areas of the state in recent weeks, officials said.

The crooks have used false claims of pending warrants and lawsuits to try to coerce people into making electronic payments or providing credit card information, the state Courts Administration Office reported on Friday.

Senior Judge John Hudson of Natchez said an acquaintance contacted him this week after receiving a call from someone claiming to be from the Adams County Sheriff’s Department. The appellant claimed that an arrest warrant had been issued against her arrest for failing to appear in court and that she had to immediately pay $ 6,000 through Apple Pay to avoid jail. When she questioned the legitimacy of the call, someone else called her to vouch for the claim, and the caller ID number falsely indicated that it was from the sheriff’s office. When she said she knew Judge Hudson, the appellant said there would be repercussions if she contacted the judge. The woman began to try to figure out how to find the money, but decided to contact Judge Hudson.

Judge Hudson reported the scam to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and contacted local media. The retired county court judge works as a resident lawyer and assists juvenile courts statewide. He has not issued an arrest warrant for years.

“It’s just a scam to get the money, and if they call enough people, someone will buy into the scam,” Judge Hudson said. “They attack people’s fears. They had an answer to anything she could tell them.

Claiborne County authorities also reported a variant of the scam this week.

Claiborne County Deputy Chief Christy Sykes said a man who received such a call gave the caller his credit card information after the caller asked him to pay 1,400 $ to avoid being arrested. The man called the sheriff’s department and canceled his credit card.

Sykes said, “It’s a dead giveaway (of a scam) if they ask you for your debit or credit card number over the phone. I try to make everyone aware not to give out personal information over the phone.

Noxubee County Circuit Clerk Freda Phillips reported a variant of the phone scam in September. The appellant falsely claimed that a lawsuit was going to be filed or had been filed. “They only left them a few days to find the money. They were asking for a social security number and personal information … it was a scam.

Hinds County Circuit Clerk Zack Wallace said it had been a few years since a similar scam was reported to him. The pitch was that the recipient of the appeal had missed the jury duty. The appellant claimed to be at the sheriff’s office and used the names of high ranking officers there. The caller demanded that the recipient buy green dot cards and then called back to request the code numbers on those cards.

Wallace posted a scam warning on the Circuit Director’s website: “Watch out for jury scams” ​​highlighted in red.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be a government official and demanding money, your Social Security number, or your credit card information, hang up, independently search for law enforcement phone numbers. local and report the contact. Do not provide a credit card or social security number over the phone if you have not initiated telephone contact.

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