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Scam targets Smith County residents

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A scam targets Smith County residents over the phone, claiming residents owe a fine for missing jury duty. A scam targets Smith County residents over the phone, claiming residents owe a fine for missing jury duty.
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A scam has returned in Smith County, requesting residents to pay a fine for missing jury duty.

Reports were released in January of a scammer taking money from Smith County residents, claiming to be with law enforcement. The scammer claimed the victims owed a fine for not showing up for jury duty.

Sheriff Larry Smith announced Monday that the scam has returned. A Smith County woman told authorities that she received a suspicious phone call, but did not comply with the scammer's request. Sheriff Larry Smith said, "We've connected the individuals who are perpetrating the scam to prison inmates in Georgia and New York and some arrests were made last week, but we're working with law enforcement agencies in those states to continue the investigation."

In January, a man contacted a Whitehouse resident, saying that he owed money for missing jury duty. He was instructed by the caller to go to a local pharmacy and purchase a pre-paid money card, and call back with the numbers on the back of the card. The victim of the scam was contacted by the scammer saying that the card did not go through, and that he would need to buy a new card. Before doing so, the Whitehouse man contacted local police, who told him it was a scam.

A Smith County woman was allegedly scammed out of $500 in January.

Sheriffs say that everyone who receives a jury summons should report for jury duty as instructed, but no member of the Smith County Sheriff's Office or any other law enforcement agency will contact a citizen and ask for a fine to be paid through a pre-paid card. There are currently no outstanding warrants related to any jury summons and no one is collecting fines by phone.

If you receive a similar call, please contact the Smith County Sheriff's Office at (903) 566-6600.

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