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Scam Alert: How Fraudsters Are Targeting Victims with Cash Bond and Jury Scams

Surge in Victims: Officials Sound Alarm on Cash Bond and Jury Scams
Source: TMX

Scams are on the rise in new Hampshire, so be warned.

Jun. 3 2024, Published 9:03 a.m. ET

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Federal officials are warning residents of New Hampshire about an increasing number of reports from victims of two types of scams: a jury summons scam and a cash bond scam.

Jane Young, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, and U.S. Marshal William Hart issued a public alert recently warning people to be wary of fraudsters posing as government officials in order to receive personal information or money.

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In the jury summons scam, phone fraudsters represent themselves as being a U.S. Marshal or a state or local government official, and claim to be contacting New Hampshire residents who did not comply with a jury summons.

The fraudsters request a return phone call, then try to "obtain personal identifying information and/or threaten to arrest an individual if a fine is not paid."

“The United States Marshals Service will never request your personal information by phone. Be on guard with your personal information if you don’t know who is calling. Don’t give it to anyone,” Hart said in a statement. “Please know it is okay to ask for a phone number and complete independent research to confirm the phone number, by contacting the authorities.”

In the cash bond scam, fraudsters call individuals and inform them of fake criminal charges, usually against a family member, and direct them to pay bail money using public virtual currency machines or kiosks.

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“Fraudsters are always finding new ways to exploit our fears and obligations,” Young said in a statement. “While jury duty is one of our most fundamental civic duties, the Court does not use law enforcement officers to arrest potential jurors. Additionally, the government will never ask you to pay fines or taxes by phone or via a virtual currency machine. Please protect yourselves — be cautious when giving out your personal identifying information.”

Recently, an Uber driver in Ohio was allegedly fatally shot by a man who had been targeted by a similar cash bond scam and erroneously believed she was part of it.

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William J. Brock told investigators a scammer had called him claiming his relative was incarcerated, issuing threats and demanding $12,000 in bail money. The scammer also used Uber to direct an unsuspecting driver, Lo-Letha Hall, to show up at Brock's house to pick up the "package" of money.

Reports of such scams have not only been rising in New Hampshire, but across the country. People who believe they may be a victim of such a scam can contact their local authorities and the FBI.

TMX contributed to this report

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