URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a new phone scam making its rounds throughout the county.
Officials said the scam involves people being told they missed jury duty and have a warrant out for their arrest. The callers have also claimed that call recipients are part of a class action-lawsuit due to improper jury summons and offered assistance to get to jury duty.
Jury summonses in Champaign County are always sent by the U.S. Postal Service and people are never notified by phone of a warrant for their arrest, officials explained. None of the reports the Sheriff’s Office received involved people currently summoned for jury duty and there is no class-action lawsuit.
The motivations of this new scam are unknown, officials said, but the theory is that it is aimed at obtaining personal information from the people who receive a call. They added that it is not unusual for this type of scam to use spoofed phone numbers – numbers that belong to legitimate businesses but are copied and used unbeknownst to the real owners of those numbers.
Sheriff Dustin Heuerman reminded that people should never give personal or financial information to someone else if they cannot verify the legitimacy of a request. Anyone who questions the legitimacy of a call should hang up and verify the call by dialing the published phone number of the law enforcement agency that supposedly called.
In this case, people should call the Champaign County Jury Coordinator at 217-531-7408.