NORFOLK — The Sheriff’s Office here said a jury duty scam is now targeting members of the military
On Wednesday, sheriff’s officials said they received a call from a Navy sailor that had fallen victim to the scam.
“Unfortunately, this common scam is now targeting members of our military,” said Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron. “As Navy sailors go out to sea for months at a time, there is the fear of missing things at home. Thieves are preying on that vulnerability, claiming that the sailor missed jury duty notices.”
The sailor told the sheriff’s office that the caller ID read “Norfolk Sheriff’s Department” when the scammer called her at work.
The scammer claimed to be a sheriff’ deputy named “Deputy Joshua Heart badge #1710D” and told the sailor she had missed jury duty twice.
Unless the sailor paid $4,000 in Visa gift cards, the scammer told her that she would be arrested, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
Related story: What really happens if you miss jury duty?
Because of her active-duty status, the sailor said she was nervous and wanted to handle the situation right away. When the sailor told the scammer that she only had $2,000, the scammer agreed to waive the rest of the fee.
The victim bought the gift cards, gave the card numbers to the fake deputy, and mailed them to the requested address. After she did that, she called the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office with further questions. When a real sheriff’s deputy spoke to the woman, he told her that it was all a scam.
The victim is reporting her case to the Norfolk Police Department economic crimes unit.
“An arrest could end a sailor’s career, and that is why this young lady acted so quickly,” Baron said. “It is important that we share this story and continue to create awareness to prevent more people from falling victim to this scam.”
A few reminders from the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office:
- The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement agencies will never call you asking for money.
- Do not send money to anyone you do not know.
- Pass this information onto a friend – spreading the word is the simplest way to help prevent others from becoming victims of scams.