SAN ANGELO, TX – Had a call claiming you missed jury duty? If so it's likely that it was scammer.
The following is a message from the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office.
We have received recent reports of citizens being contacted by phone about missing jury duty and being threatened with fines and arrest. This is being completed by someone identifying themselves as a Tom Green County official and stating that a fine needs to be paid or they will be arrested. This is a scam and is not anything we would do. Thank you
AARP provides the various tips to help callers avoid scammers:
- Unsolicited calls from people claiming to work for a government agency, public utility or major tech firm, like Microsoft or Apple. These companies and institutions will rarely call you unless they have first communicated by other means or you have contacted them.
- Unsolicited calls from charity fundraisers, especially during the holidays and after disasters.
- Calls pitching products or services with terms that sound too good to be true. Common scam offers include free product trials, cash prizes, cheap travel packages, medical devices, preapproved loans, debt reduction, and low-risk, high-return investments.
- An automated sales call from a company you have not authorized to contact you. That’s an illegal robocall and almost certainly a scam. (Automated calls are permitted for some informational or non-commercial purposes — for example, from political campaigns or nonprofit groups like AARP.)
How to protect yourself from this scam
- Do put your phone number on the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry. It won’t stop spam calls, but it will make them easier to spot because most legitimate telemarketers won’t call you if you’re on the registry.
- Do consider using a call-blocking mobile app or device to screen your calls and weed out spam and scams. You can also ask your phone-service provider if it offers any blocking tools.
- Do hang up on illegal robocalls.
- Do slow down and ask questions of telemarketers. Legitimate businesses and charities will answer questions and give you time to consider a purchase or donation. Scam callers will pressure you to commit right away.
- Do independently research travel deals, charities or business and investment opportunities you hear about by phone.
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.
- Don’t return one-ring calls from unknown numbers. These may be scams to get you to call hotlines in African and Caribbean countries that have U.S.-style three-digit area codes, and you could incur hefty connection and per-minute fees.
- Don’t follow instructions on a prerecorded message, such as “Press 1” to speak to a live operator (it will probably lead to a phishing expedition) or press any key to get taken off a call list (it will probably lead to more robocalls).
- Don’t give personal or financial data, such as your Social Security number or credit card account number, to callers you don’t know. If they say they have the information and just need you to confirm it, that’s a trick.
- Don’t pay registration or shipping charges to get a supposed free product or prize. Such fees are ploys to get your payment information.
- Don’t make payments by gift card, prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Fraudsters favor these methods because they are hard to trace.
- If you encounter a suspected phone scam or an abusive telemarketer, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, online or at 877-382-4357, and notify your state consumer protection office.
- Report caller-ID spoofing to the Federal Communications Commission, online or at 888-225-5322. The FCC also provides consumer guides to numerous phone scams and improper practices.
- Visit the Do Not Call Registry website or call 888-382-1222 to register your number or report illegal robocalls.