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By: Charlene Arsenault, Milford Patch – July 28, 2018

The caller tries to pressure the recipient into giving a pre-paid phone card to avoid getting in trouble for “not showing up to jury duty.”

WORCESTER COUNTY, MA—It’s hard to keep up with all the scams, and there’s a new one hitting Worcester County that the sheriff is warning residents about.

Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis is warning residents about a recent phone scam in Worcester County where citizens are being targeted and threatened with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts.

Recent calls have been made to residents, according to the sheriff’s office, where the caller identifies himself as an officer from the Sheriff’s Office and tries to pressure the callee to give pre-paid money cards, credit card and confidential data.

These calls threaten recipients with fines and jail time if they do not comply, and are fraudulent and are not connected with the U.S. courts or the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, reminds the sheriff.

“This scam, which has been going on for several years, is back in full force,” he said. “Over the past week, our office has received dozens of phone call regarding this, unfortunately some individuals have fallen prey to this scam.”

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office does not contact residents and demand payments or ask for credit card information on behalf of the Courts regarding jury duty and is asking residents to be vigilant against this most recent scam. Federal and State courts do not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call or email.

“Our department does not contact residents and demand payment or ask for credit card information. Today’s scam artists are always trying to stay ahead of the curve, residents need to beware of any unsolicited calls that ask for their personal or credit card information,” said the Sheriff in a statement. “These callers can sound convincing, will be aggressive and try to intimidate you, even threaten you with jail time. We encourage anyone who gets a suspicious call to just hang up or call authorities first before giving out any type of personal information or money.”