Police warn of telephone scam

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Police Department on Wednesday issued a telephone scam alert.

Residents have contacted the police department about receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be from the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and that the resident must pay a sum of money for a warrant over a missed jury duty appearance in their name to be cleared, according to the department.

It’s a scam, the police department said.

“The scam may be intimidating because the person on the other end of the call pretends to be a law enforcement representative, when in fact it’s a scammer who will demand payment to stop a warrant from being issued for the missed jury duty,” the department said.

The police department also explained how the scam works:

∫ Residents will receive a phone call from an individual claiming to be a law enforcement officer or court personnel saying they’ve missed jury duty and will inform them they must pay a fine or an arrest warrant will be issued for them and they will ultimately be arrested. Scammers may go as far as to identify themselves as with the sheriff’s department or another law enforcement agency.

∫ The criminals request immediate payment to avoid issuing a warrant related to missed jury duty. Payments have ranged from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

∫ The scammers instruct the victim to make a payment using a pre-paid card typically purchased at a retail store. The scammer then requests the number on the back of the card so they can steal the funds.

The department advises upon receiving such a phone call, to not disclose personal, credit card or banking information. Victims should immediately contact law enforcement.