MARYVILLE (WATE) – The Blount County sheriff is warning residents about a phone scam in which the caller claims to be a sheriff’s office employee demanding money for a failure to appear for jury duty.
Sheriff James Berrong says the scammer calls from (865) 745-5699, using the name of an actual sheriff’s office employee, and says the victim failed appear for a jury summons and must pay a fine.
The caller says the victim must pay using a Green Dot card purchased at Kroger, one for $450 and one for $400. He says if they don’t pay, they’ll be arrested.
Berrong says the elderly are being specifically targeted in the scam. He says the sheriff’s office and its deputies will never call anyone to demand money or threaten anyone. If you receive one of these calls, hang up.
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is following all leads to identify and arrest the scammers.
FCC tips for consumers
- Don’t give out personal information in response to an incoming call. Identity thieves pose as representatives of banks, credit card companies, creditors, or government agencies to get people to reveal their account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords, and other identifying information.
- If you get an inquiry from a company or government agency seeking personal information, don’t provide it. Instead, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, or on the company’s government agency’s website to find out if the entity that supposedly called you actually needs the requested information from you.
- Please let the FCC know about ID spoofers by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC or filing a complaint at www.fcc.gov/complaints.