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Jury duty scammers active in Sonoma County

Sonoma County court officials warned Tuesday of an attempt to defraud people who were told they missed jury duty.

At least four people received phone calls saying they needed to pay $380 to clear arrest warrants stemming from their failure to report for service, said Jose Guillen, the court's executive officer.

One woman was told she needed to pay by 4 p.m. or risk jail. She was instructed to go to Safeway or Walgreens, buy a "green" gift card and give it to a person who would be waiting for her, Guillen said.

She instead went to the jury office, where officials told her she had not been called for jury duty. Even if she had missed a mandatory reporting date, the courts do not issue arrest warrants for that, Guillen said.

"That is not a court-sponsored program," Guillen said.

He said the calls were being investigated by court deputies.

Similar scams have been reported elsewhere in the state, including in Contra Costa and Ventura counties.

Guillen warned against giving money or personal information to anyone who calls seeking payment to clear a jury warrant. They are advised to immediately contact police, he said.


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