Cowetans fall victim to jury duty scam

by Wes Mayer

Three Cowetans have become victims of a new scam in the county where they were made to believe they missed jury duty and were required to pay a hefty fine.

The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office and Superior Court Clerk’s Office are hoping to warn all Cowetans of this scam, which seems to be targeting elderly citizens. According to Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager, citizens are being called by a number that reads the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, but it is actually a scammer. Yeager said the scammer may be using a phone app to change his number’s identity.

What is interesting about this scam is that the caller will stay on the phone until the victim pays, said Cindy Brown, clerk of Coweta Superior Court. The scammer first tells the victim they missed jury duty and must pay an $1,100 fine – to pay this fine, they must purchase specific Green Dot prepaid debit cards from a Rite Aid pharmacy. Once purchased, the victims are asked to read the cards’ numbers over the phone, and the scammer can withdraw the money.

Brown said one victim was on the phone with the scammer for more than two-and-a-half hours because the first Rite Aid did not carry the cards. The victim later found the cards in another store but had to purchase three of them because they each maxed out at $400.

“We would never call you on the phone if you missed jury duty,” Brown said. “When you receive jury summons, it will be by mail. If by accident or another reason you miss out on jury duty, we will always send a letter first.”

Brown said if a person is consistently missing jury duty, a deputy may be sent to their home. Any fines will be up to a judge, she said.

Yeager said the sheriff’s office does not handle jury duty summons or fines whatsoever, and even if they did, they would not ask for payment over the phone. He said if anyone receives a call and believes it is a scam, they should contact the sheriff’s office immediately. Brown also said if anyone has questions about jury duty, they are welcome to call the Superior Court Clerk’s office or visit in person at the office in the Justice Center on Greenville Street.



More Local

Paramount Hospitality wins 2015 Small Business Award

Paramount Hospitality won the overall 2015 Small Business of the Year Award from the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. Besides the overall ... Read More


Man accused of raping teenager

A 26-year-old man suspected of raping a teenage girl was arrested Aug. 14 following an investigation by the Newnan Police Department. The 16 ... Read More


Gas station robbed

Newnan police are on the lookout for a man who robbed the Marathon Gas Station on Hwy 34 early Friday. Around 6:50 a.m., a male wearing a ba ... Read More


Safes stolen in Ashley Park burglary

Two safes were stolen from an Ashley Park office following a pre-dawn burglary on Friday. At 2:58 a.m., officers responded to Ashley Furnitu ... Read More


Three Rivers at odds over quorum issues

The Three Rivers Regional Council has a problem – an attendance problem. The board – comprised of appointed and elected communit ... Read More

County launches text-911 service

Beginning Sept. 1, most citizens in Coweta County will be able to send a short message service (SMS) or text message to 911 for emergency he ... Read More