NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Scam calls continue to rear their ugly heads in times of crisis.
Sherrie Teague lives in Farmington and is disabled. She recently received an unexpected call, telling her she failed to appear for jury duty.
“The fact that I didn’t perform my civic duty and missed jury selection resulted in two citations against me, one was a failure to appear and contempt to court,” said Teague.
The person on the other line claimed to be a deputy for the Washington County Sheriff’s office convincing her she had to pay 1500 dollars for each citation.
“I told him that pandemic has affected me financially and the thought of giving up $3000 that day was very upsetting.”
Teague said he answered all of her questions without missing a beat. Worried about having to a pay fine or ending up in jail, she called her attorney Stephen Parker on another line who had her merge the calls.
“He did have some information that matched up, like when I asked him if she needs to be served with a citation where would he like her to go and he did provide the address for the Washington County Detention Center. It’s when he provided the case number that I immediately knew something was incorrect,” said Parker with the Parker Law firm.
Parker called the sheriff’s office who confirmed his beliefs that the man on the line was a fraud.
“When I finally realized that this was a scam, I felt very foolish I thought that I would be smart enough to recognize this. I was upset at myself at first but very angry at the person who tried to take advantage of me,” said Teague.
Administrative Captain, Josh Mcconnell with the sheriff’s office said scams like this aren’t rare and has a reminder for everyone.
“We don’t solicit any money or anything like that over the phone and we don’t take any money cards for outstanding warrants. Our officers are not calling people and saying they have outstanding warrants.”
McConnell said if you have any doubts to call law enforcement or your attorney like Teague did, a few minutes to confirm someone’s identity could save you from financial trouble later.