DALLAS - The judge who oversees the Dallas County jury Services program is warning North Texans about a prolific scam targeting senior citizens.
The scammers call senior citizens and claim to be law enforcement officers with warrants for failure to show up for jury duty. That fear of arrest has good citizens buying cash cards to make the bogus warrants go away.
Police say at least one person is making the bogus calls to scam senior citizens out of thousands of dollars.
“This is Tom Jackson with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department,” a voicemail said that police believe is from the scammer.
One elderly couple didn’t want their faces shown or their names used but did want their voices heard.
"She was just scared to death!” the husband said. “And I couldn't pull her out of that realm."
"I thought jail at my age?” his wife said.
The scammer claiming to be a Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy told the wife on Monday that she had warrants for failing to show for jury duty.
To make the warrants go away, the scammer told her she could pay the court $1,900 by putting cash on a Green Dot Debit Card and even told them to go to the nearby Tom Thumb to purchase the cash cards.
Judge Dominique Collins oversees the Dallas County Jury Services and is outraged.
“We've had people who have actually come down here and say that they have actually been a victim,” he said. “We are never going to call you and say, ‘Give us some money. You have a warrant.’ That's never going to happen."
"After being down here for 22 years practicing criminal law, a judge or jury would throw the book at anybody that was convicted of committing this awful crime,” said Judge Nancy Mulder.
After realizing she'd lost nearly a month’s salary, the victim called the scammer back and got an answer.
“I said, ‘Mr. Jackson? You got me this time, but God has a place for people like you that do things like this,’” the elderly woman recalled.
The Callas County Sheriff's Office has now issued an advisory on its website to warn people about the scam.
Judge Collins is working on putting similar advisories inside the jury notice packets to get the word out.
So far, no arrests have been made, but multiple investigations are ongoing.