Tarrant County Scamsters Targeting Jury Scofflaws

And you thought jury duty in Dallas sucked.

Tarrant County residents are being contacted by a man calling himself Lieutenant Allen who claims to be with the sheriff's office, police department or constable's office. "Allen" informs the person receiving the call that they have been fined between $2,000 and $4,000 for failing to report for jury duty.

According to Tarrant County Jury Services, those who remain on the line are told that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and they must report for court. Allen gives them a judges name, usually Thomas Wright and a varying but specific court location, like 100 W. Weatherford, Room 4C.

To clear the warrant and avoid the court appearance, the intended victim can, Allen tells them, visit a grocery store or Wal-Mart and purchase a Green Dot Money Card -- a prepaid debit card. Allen then requests the card's information be given to him over the phone -- which is, of course, a burner.

Shockingly, Lieutenant Allen isn't on the up and up.

Tarrant County Jury Services says it never contacts anyone to pay a failure to appear fine by phone and doesn't warn people if a warrant has been issued for them nor does it allow anyone to pay to get out of serving.

It should probably go without saying, but don't violate the social contract and skip out on jury duty. But if you did, and you're contacted by Lieutenant Allen, don't give him any information and definitely don't go buy him a Green Dot card. Hang up and give your local police department a call.

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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