UPDATE: Man avoids becoming victim to phone scam warning - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Man avoids becoming victim to phone scam warning

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UPDATE: It is your civic duty to serve on a jury in your community.

"I’m thinking I must have missed that, then you feel guilty and that's what kind of lures you in you think okay I did miss something,” Wilcox said.

But scammers are taking advantage of people like Wayne Wilcox asking for a different call to action.

“We can send a couple deputies to your house and they can bring you down we can book you from anywhere from six hours to 72 hours. This is a Saturday afternoon, I’m freaking out, what have I done?" Wilcox said.

On Saturday, Wilcox got a call from a local 423 number. The person on the other line said he was from the sheriff's office and informed him he missed jury duty and owed a thousand dollars.

“It sounded very legitimate, he mentioned a judge’s name, but the judge’s name did not sound for familiar in this county, so that was one of the red flags right there,” Wilcox added.

But it's a hoax and he isn't the only one to think the call is real at first. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is warning the community of similar ones in the area and why they say it's best to just hang up.

“He’s going to call other people, I’m sure he's got a whole list somebody's gonna fall for it and that's the worst part someone's going to fall for it and be out $1000,” Wilcox said.

It is this message Wilcox hopes to share with others so they don't become a victim.

Law enforcement says they'll never contact you over the phone to ask for money, but if you ever have any question you should contact the agency directly to verify.

The sheriff's office says store employees can also play a role in spotting scams like these by alerting managers if a person is buying large amounts of money cards at the checkout.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is alerting citizens that once again our community is being targeted by a scam involving parties claiming to be employees of either a law enforcement agency or a general Hamilton County government office. 

The caller and/or message states that the person or person(s) have failed to show up for jury duty or have failed to pay bond fees. The fraudulent party is also claiming that unless the party calls a number and sends money via a money order, warrants will be issued leading to an arrest or heavy fines will be imposed.

HCSO spokesman Matt Lea says the Sheriff's Office is encouraging any resident who is contacted via phone from any law enforcement agency or general Hamilton County government office to never send money over the phone without verifying the agency’s legitimacy. 

Lea says all Hamilton County government offices and the HCSO communicate via mail and registered mail and will never solicit funds over the phone. This includes the Internal Revenue Office (IRS) as well. 

Scams are not new to our community and can come in a variety of ways. The HCSO tries to offer alerts to the public when specific scams start to affect our community. 

Commercial scams can also be difficult to recognize. For more information on commercial scams, please contact your local Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

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