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“Jury Duty Warrant” Scam Hits Snohomish County

UPDATED:  January 26, 2015

CONTACT: Shari Ireton, Director of Communications, 425-388-3377, Media line:  425-359-9323 

A scam in which residents receive a phone call from someone claiming to be in law enforcement saying that they need to pay to have a warrant “lifted” for having missed jury duty has hit Snohomish County. 

The Sheriff's Office has recently received over a dozen reports from residents who were victims of this scam.  They reported that they had received a call at home from a man who claimed to be a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office.  He explained to the victims that they had an outstanding warrant for missing jury duty.  He then told victims that in order to have the warrant lifted, they would need to purchase a prepaid credit card (usually worth several hundred dollars) and call him back with the account number. 

“If someone who claims to work in law enforcement or for the courts calls you asking for payment over the phone or for other sensitive information like your Social Security number, you can guarantee this is a scam,” said Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary. “County employees will never call you to request this information and anyone who does should be reported to the police immediately.”

The scam was first reported by the U.S. District Courts in 2013.  If you wish to verify that you have an outstanding warrant in Snohomish County, a current list of all outstanding District Court misdemeanor and Superior Court felony warrants is available on-line.

Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud should call 911.  In addition, anyone can check on-line to verify if they have a warrant with either the Snohomish County District Court or Snohomish County Superior Court.