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Sheriff's office warns of phone scam targeting Wayne County residents for money

Scammers are threatening false arrests
Study: 10 percent admit to checking phones during sex
Posted at 7:46 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 19:46:39-05

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Scammers are posing as officers in an attempt to scam money out of Wayne County residents, according to a release from the department. And the scammers are threatening to arrest citizens if they don't pay up.

Someone claiming to be a "Lt. Jim Brown" is calling residents, claiming to be from the Civil Service Unit and threatening to arrest them for violating jury duty. The targeted residents then are told to buy a Green Dot card in the amount of $4,800, or another amount. They're asked to phone-in the money immediately, according to Acting Sheriff Daniel Pfannes.

“Unfortunately, we see a lot of scams like this throughout the year where suspects scare innocent victims into turning over money to avoid arrest,” Pfannes said. “It’s a ruse that we want to warn people about so that if it happens to them they won’t fall for it.”

Pfannes adds that he wants people to be on high alert, as an estimated 1 in 6 people fall victim to these types of scams.

Here's what you should know:

  • You will never be called by an officer threatening arrest for not attending jury duty.
  • In fact, court cases involving juries have pretty much been halted since mid-2020 due to the

pandemic (contact the Court System if you believe you have received an official request to serve).

  • Never give money over the phone to anyone you do not personally know.
  • Call the police if you hang up on a caller and continue to get harassing, threatening calls.

“When in doubt, get the caller’s information and write down the incoming number on your phone in case you do have to report it to police," Pfannes said. "But I can assure you, no one from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is going to be calling you demanding payment for missing jury duty."