CHP warns of jury duty phone scam

Defense attorney Art Cantu speaks in this file photo during the Mike Rodrigues trial's opening statements.

The California Highway Patrol is warning residents about a phone scam in which callers say they’re with the CHP and requests payment for missed jury duty.
According to the announcement from the CHP:
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is warning the public of a recent series of phone scams in which the caller claims to be a member of the CHP and asks for payment for missed jury duty, outstanding fines, or an outstanding arrest warrant.
The CHP said the callers typically instruct residents to purchase re-loadable cards and call them back with the numbers to the cards. Similar scams have been reported to other law enforcement agencies as well. 
“We appreciate the public for bringing this issue to our attention, and we want to warn others to be vigilant and never give out personal information to someone you don’t know,” said CHP Coastal Division Chief Reginald Chappelle.
The CHP does not call community members seeking payment under any circumstances. In addition to never giving personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller, the following tips are recommended:

  • Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
  • Utility companies and government agencies will never contact you for payment by GreenDot, MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload. 
  • Remember that anyone who has the number on a prepaid card has access to the funds on your card. 
  • Never wire money or provide debit or credit card numbers to a stranger. 

If you believe you are being scammed regarding an alleged unpaid traffic citation or other court-imposed financial obligation you can: 

  • Ask the caller for the court case number, date of ticket, or other specific information.  Then verify the debt or confirm other details by contacting the local court where the offence was reported to have occurred. IN ANY CASE IF THERE IS SUCH AN OBLIGATION, ADDRESS AND RESOVE IT DIRECTLY WITH THE COURT, NOT WITH A STRANGER.
  • The Department wants to know if you receive such a call, please contact Officer Wilson of the Coastal Division CHP at (805) 549-3261.  For further information regarding telemarketing scams please contact the California Department of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-952-5210, or check their website at http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/telemarket.shtml.

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