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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane woman loses nearly $2,000 to “jury duty” scam

A Spokane woman recently lost $1,975 to scammer who called and told her if she didn’t pay her “fines” for not reporting for “grand jury duty” she would be arrested and sent to jail.

The caller stayed on the phone with the woman while she went to a drug store and bought four preloaded Green Dot debit cards, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office reported. He then asked for the card numbers and told the woman she’d be reimbursed for the money once she filled out paperwork saying she didn’t get a jury duty notice. The call disconnected after the man received the debit card numbers, however.

The jury duty scam has been around for a while and the callers are both aggressive and convincing, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory. Other scammers claim to represent the IRS or say they are a grandson or granddaughter who has been arrested and needs bail money. Some callers in the Spokane area have claimed to be employed by Avista Utilities and threaten to turn off people’s power if they aren’t paid.

People who receive a phone call demanding the immediate payment of money should look up the phone number for whatever agency or business the caller claims to represent and verify the request. Law enforcement agencies will never threaten arrest and demand payments over the phone, Gregory said.

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