Fake deputy using jury duty to scam residents

Fake deputy using jury duty to scam residents »Play Video
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- People in at least two local counties are getting calls from a man claiming to be a sheriff's deputy, but the scammer made a major mistake when he dialed a certain number.

The caller claimed to be with the sheriff's office and told Thurston and Kitsap county residents they missed jury duty and needed to pay money or face arrest.

"In these phone calls the caller was trying to solicit money. Basically it's a fraud, scam and they're utilizing one of our deputies names and representing themselves as a member of the sheriff's office," said Lt. Greg Elwin with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.

Elwin said these types of scams aren't new, but few of the crooks are bold enough to impersonate a member of law enforcement.

The conman, who has been representing himself as deputy Tom Cole with the warrants division, made a huge mistake when he called the real deputy Tom Cole.

"That tells us that the caller has knowledge of sheriff's office operations because the caller is representing themselves as a warrants deputy from Thurston County Sheriff's office," Elwin said.

Elwin wants to remind everyone that the sheriff's office will never call and ask for money to pay a bill. He said any communication about jury duty would come in writing, and arrest warrants are never issued for failing to appear as a juror.

Kitsap County deputies say they know of at least one resident who believed the scammer and paid him $1,000.