1000 x 90

Watauga Sheriff Warns of Two Scams Impersonating Clerk of Court, Sheriff’s Office

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office sent out a public service announcement warning of a couple recent scams where scammers are impersonating the clerk of court and the sheriff’s office employees.

“I just had a conversation with Clerk of Superior Court Diane Deal, and she relayed a current vicious and upsetting scam relating to her office,” Sheriff Len Hagaman said on Monday.

The scam involves the scammers calling unsuspecting Watauga County citizens 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.

According to the reported scam, the “juror” is 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).

Clerk Deal underscores the fact 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 Clerk of Superior Court Diane Deal says to contact the Watauga County Clerk of Superior Court Office at 828-268-6600.

Hagaman said he was recently contacted by another citizen regarding another scam. Here is what this citizen said happened:

“This morning (Sat. 4/25/15, 11 am) I returned a call from a message left on my answering machine to a person identifying himself as Lt. Terrell [no such employee of Watauga Sheriff’s Office] of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Dept. The telephone number was 406-8300.

After a lot of misleading information, I was told I needed to pay fines in the amount of $2,496, today, for bench warrants sent out by a Judge [redacted, but an actual Judge’s name in this district].

Making a long story short, once the “Lt. Terrell” asked for my cell phone number and I told him I didn’t have a cell phone, his reaction of “You don’t have a cell phone?” confirmed to me that this was a scam.”

Hagaman suggests citizens remain aware of scams that are occurring and never give anyone your personal information or send money.