Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel and the FBI in Houston urged southeast Texas residents not to be duped by con men who pose as police officers and demand that callers pay fines for purportedly missing jury service.
A local resident was recently tricked out of $250 by such a phone scam. The scam died down after it started occurring late last year, but it has recently resurfaced in Houston and dozens of others states, prompting Daniel and the FBI to warn the public.
Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel said he requested the FBI’s help in investigating the crimes because “these criminals are giving jury service a black eye. Innocent, hard-working people have been tricked into giving these con artists money. They need to be behind bars.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner, head of the FBI’s Houston office, said one of the best ways to curb the scam is to inform the public not to fall prey to it.
“We’ve seen variations of this scam hit unsuspecting residents across the country,” Special Agent Turner said. “These scammers are using fear and intimidation to pressure victims into paying them money, and they often move from state to state very quickly to avoid detection. Educating yourself on the latest scams is the best defense, and remember – law enforcement authorities will never demand you pay a fine by phone.”
People should report scammers’ calls to the District Clerk’s jury service operation at 713-755-6392 and to your local police or the FBI. Tips to the FBI also may be submitted online at https://tips.fbi.gov. All tipsters may remain anonymous.