Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman is warning the public about two new scams targeting residents in the area.
One scam involves the scammers calling residents who are told “this is the Watauga County Clerk of Court Diane Deal (or one of her deputies), and you (citizen) did not appear as a juror, or failed to respond to a jury summons.”
Sheriff Hagaman goes on the say that the scammer tells “the juror” that they are in contempt of court for failing to appear as a juror “as ordered,” and in order to not have a contempt order, or an order for arrest warrant, issued, the “juror” must send money and/or provide “needed” financial information (social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card information, etc), to stop further action (including an order for arrest).
Watauga County Clerk of Court Diane Deal stresses to all residents that that no financial, or other personal information, such as a social security number, is ever required to serve as a juror.
If you do receive a jury summons in the mail, and you have a question about any jury summons, contact the Watauga County Clerk of Superior Court Office at 828-268-6600.
Sheriff Hagaman is also warning of a second scam where a local resident received a call from a fictitious Sheriff's Deputy. The caller was told, after a lot of misleading information, they needed to pay fines in the amount of $2,496 for bench warrants sent out by a named sitting Judge in the district.
The Sheriff reminds everyone that these scams are happening and never give out personal information over the telephone or send money.
If you feel you are the victim of a possible scam call the Watauga County Sheriff's Department.