New local scam calls victims' place of employment - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New local scam calls victims' place of employment

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KENNEWICK, WA - The Jury Duty scam has taken a new twist locally, according to Kennewick Police. 

Within the past three weeks, at least two victims have reported being called at their place of employment concerning missing jury duty in Benton County. Usually these scam calls are made directly to an individual. In both of these cases, the victims report the call came to their employer. They are then called to the office to speak with a deputy allegedly from the Benton County Sheriff's Department, concerning missed jury duty. The suspect appears to be "ghosting" the Benton County SO phone number to add credibility to the call.

After identifying themselves, the victim is told they missed jury duty and a warrant has been issued for their arrest, but they can pay a fine over the phone to avoid jail. The employee is given a fine amount and is instructed to obtain the amount in Green Dot (cash cards) and then instructed to scratch the back of the card revealing the code and provide it to the caller. The cash is then transferred to the suspect.

No law enforcement agency or the IRS will call you demanding payment for warrants or back taxes over the phone. A request to use cash transfer cards, gift cards, money grams or other quick cash transfers should alert you to fraud.

If you receive these types of calls, do not fall for this scam. Call your local law enforcement agency to report the incident.