Meridian Star

Local News

April 18, 2014

Officials warn of missed jury duty scam

MERIDIAN — By Brian Livingston

    Local officials are warning residents to beware of a caller claiming to be a local county prosecutor asking for money for missed jury dry.

    Donna Jill Johnson, the Lauderdale County Circuit Court Clerk, said one person was duped into giving $2,000 to the scammers after being told to pay the money or be arrested for not showing up for jury duty.

    "We have scams all the time but what sets this one apart from all the others is that the people behind the scam are using the name of the county prosecutor, Justin Cobb, to scare people into sending them the money," Johnson said Thursday. "No judge or county official would demand payment over the phone to avoid arrest."

    Cobb, in a statement sent Wednesday, said the voice on the telephone is not him. He said that they public should know there are penalties for not appearing for jury duty, but such penalties would never be collected through random phone calls, and that no one from his office request residents to pay with a prepaid card.

    "If in doubt, a person should contact the Court Clerk to question whether such is legitimate," Cobb wrote in the statement. "I encourage the public to question any random solicitation over the phone."

    Cobb said in the release it is extremely troublesome that someone would falsely used his name and position to threaten people in order to get money. The release said he wanted the public to know about the scam so that there will not be other victims.

    A scam alert was issued by authorities at the Meridian Police Department later Thursday advising residents to call the Lauderdale County Circuit Court Clerk's Office at 601-482-9731 if they receive such a call.

    Residents are also encouraged to call the police department or the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office.   

Text Only
Local News
Helium debate
Twitter Updates
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide