Phone scammers posing as sheriffs deputies threatening arrest for not appearing for jury duty

Have you been threatened with arrest for not showing up to jury duty? 

The latest phone scam to circulate through Oakland County includes callers being told they owe a $900 cash bond for failing to appear in federal or state court for jury duty. The county sheriff says the calls are part of an uptick in phone scams being reported to police recently.

"If anyone calls and demands money over the phone, it is a scam!" Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. "Just hang up. Sadly, we’re seeing an uptick in how many people are being hit with these phony phone calls. We will never demand immediate payment over the phone. Ever. Just hang up."

In the past three weeks, residents in Oakland County have reported a dozen calls of scammers threatening jail time.

During the calls, the scam artists request payment through either bitcoin or gift cards, two forms of currency that police don't request payment in.

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A release from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office says the caller is normally posing as a deputy or commander in the sheriff's office, using their actual name. A phone number is provided which alleges it will connect someone to the sheriff's office. Instead, it sends them to a bogus line before asking the caller to leave a callback number, which the scammer then rings up.

The sheriff's office said at least two of the victims did pay $900.