Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan warned Wilson County residents this week not to fall for a scam in which someone calls claiming to be with the office's criminal warrants division, demanding money for failing to appear for jury duty or some other crime.
According to the Wilson County Sheriff's Office (WCSO), the perpetrators have been calling residents and telling them they must pay for not appearing for jury duty in some cases. In others, they claim the victim has failed to accept a certified letter instructing them to appear in court and will be arrested immediately if they do not pay a fine.
"One woman paid more than $1,000," Bryan said, adding, "No one from the sheriff's office nor the Wilson County Criminal Court Clerk's office would ever call and threaten someone with arrest if they did not pay a fine. We do not do business over the telephone in this manner."
Several people in Wilson County have complained that someone left threatening messages advising them to pay cash or credit voucher for failing to appear for jury duty. The callers generally have used the ruse that the victim was sent a registered letter, never signed for it and must pay a fine. In other cases, the scam artist threatens people via telephone to have them arrested immediately if they do not pay. In some cases, the victims were warned a hang-up call would signify a refusal to accept the registered letter and would result in the victim's immediate arrest.
The perpetrators have instructed their intended victims to go to a local market and purchase money orders or "Green Dot Money Pac Cards" in order to settle the complaint. This same scam has surfaced in a number of ways across the country, Tennessee and Wilson County in the past.
Bryan advised anyone who receives such a threat to hang up immediately and call local law enforcement.