A mysterious new scam has left victims in Newton County questioning calls regarding jury summons and bench warrants.
The latest con to strike the county begins with a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Newton County Superior Court Clerk's Office concerning a failure to appear for a jury summons. According to Newton County Sheriff's Lt. Bill Watterson, the caller tells the victim a bench warrant has been issued for their arrest for failure to appear for a jury summons.
The caller then tells the victims they need certain personal information and asks them to leave their home to go pay the fine for not attending the court date
Watterson said the NCSO first became aware of the scam after the clerk's office began receiving complaints about the calls.
So far none of the victims have been defrauded or had any other type of crime committed against them other than the calls.
"We're not exactly sure what they are trying to do here or what they are planning, but we want people to know this is not the clerk's office calling and no one should ever give out their personal information," Watterson said.
Giving information out can lead to identity theft weeks or even months later, Watterson said.
Citizens should only be called by a clerk's office employee informing them about a court date being set or canceled.
"They worst punishment they can normally expect is to have to go before the judge and explain their absence," Watterson said. "There are so many reasons a person might not appear like a change of address or a problem with mail that they don't normally issue bench warrants."
Victims from this or any other scam are encouraged to notify the NCSO.
Anyone with questions about this scam is asked to call Superior Court Clerk Linda Hays at (770) 784-2035.
Anyone with information regarding the scam or the scammer's identity is asked to call the Newton County Sheriff's Office at (678) 625-1403. Tips may also be given anonymously at (678) 625-5007 or on their Web site www.newtonsheriffga.org.