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Dauphin County officials warn residents of jury duty phone scam

Scammers are calling people, claiming they're in contempt of court for failing to appear for jury duty. The victims are told to buy MoneyPak cards to avoid jail.
Credit: WPMT

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo and Dauphin County Sheriff Nicholas Chimienti Jr. are warning residents about the renewed use of an old jury duty scam to trick the unwary out of their money.

According to the county officials, scammers are using spoofed telephone numbers to make it look like the Dauphin County Sheriff's Office is calling citizens to inform them they're charged with contempt of court for failing to appear for jury duty.

The scammers then instruct their victims to buy Green DOT MoneyPak cards to pay the fine and avoid jailtime. The victims are told to provide the cards' codes to the scammers, who stay on the phone with them through the entire process, county officials say.

"This same scam is used throughout the country," officials say. "The Sheriff’s Office never takes money over the telephone. If you receive one of these calls, we recommend that you inform the caller that you will call him back and hang up."

If you're the victim of such a scam attempt, you can call the Dauphin County Sheriff’s Office at (717) 780-6590.