Jury Duty Phone Scam has spread from Monmouth to Ocean County
Phone scammers continue their pursuit of trying to rip off Jersey Shore residents as their scheme has spread from Monmouth to Ocean County.
A number of residents are getting calls from this scammer instructing them to dial a number and place a $1,000.00 deposit via cash, pre-paid debit card or gift card to cancel a warrant for missing jury duty.
Residents including many from Toms River, Brick and Point Pleasant are getting calls from someone claiming to be with the Ocean County Sheriff's Department.
"You have reached Ocean County Sheriff's Office Warrants and Civil Citations Division, all of our deputies are currently busy at this time. If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 9-1-1, otherwise leave your name, number and a brief message and one of our deputies will return your...call as soon as possible. Thank you."
*There's a slight pause in the message between "your" and "call" which signals hesitation from the male voice indicating that he's trying to pull one over on you.
Residents are then instructed to dial a separate number about placing a deposit to cancel an arrest warrant for missing state or federal grand jury duty.
Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy said his office has made no such calls.
"The Sheriff's Office is certainly not requiring people to go out and get gift cards to pay for missing jury duty," Mastronardy tells WOBM News. "No government entity is going to require people to go get a gift card or send cash."
Sheriff Mastronardy says don't give these scammers any personal information and, "don't call back the number that they give you because that's generally a phony number and it only lasts for about 24-hours and then they're onto the next number."
Mastronardy who urges residents not to follow the instructions given by the scammers.
"The Ocean County Sheriff's Office is not calling anyone in reference to grand jury violations," Mastronardy said.
The Sheriff's Office is working with U.S. Marshals to investigate these scammers who could literally be anywhere.
"The problem is these people aren't local, you're not going to find them locally," Mastronardy said.
He said anybody who receives one of these calls, should contact his office's main line at 732-929-2044.
Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who is Director of Law and Public Safety, also urged residents to be aware that scammers are everywhere nowadays and their means are getting more and more sophisticated.
“If the call doesn’t sound legitimate or they are asking for payment hang up and independently confirm what they are saying or calling about,” Kelly said. “If the call you are getting sounds suspicious it very well might be."
Potential jurists in Ocean County can also call 732-506-5060 to verify whether they have been summoned to jury duty.
Superior Court in Ocean County works with potential jurists should they have a scheduling conflict and cannot serve at the prescribed time.
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