If you’ve gotten a call from a county deputy demanding payment and threatening arrest because you missed jury service, you have been a target in an ongoing phone scam.
According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, several Loudoun residents have reported receiving calls from a man claiming to be LCSO Lt. Vance Berry. The caller states that an arrest warrant has been issued because the resident failed to report for jury duty. “Lt. Berry” then says arrest can avoided by paying a fine using money cards from a local store.
In the latest case, the victim paid the “fine” and was sent an official-looking invoice with “Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office” across the top.
“These thieves use the appearance of authority and prey on a person’s fears in hopes that the victim will be more willing to provide the money,” Sheriff Mike Chapman stated.
Under no circumstance will a Virginia law enforcement official be permitted to collect fines of this nature. Only the judges can order the payment of fines for failure to report for jury duty, but individuals would be required to attend a court hearing before any fines are assessed.
“Jury service is an important civic duty,” Court Clerk Gary M. Clemens stated. “We do not want potential jurors to be intimidated or discouraged to serve as jurors by virtue of individuals who use these deceitful tactics to extort money from unsuspecting citizens.”
Anyone who may have been a victim of this scam or of a similar scam is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 703-777-1021 or file a report online at sheriff.loudoun.gov/reportonline.