More sophisticated jury duty scam fools Upstate victims into paying thousands

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A new sophisticated scam is hitting people in the Upstate from a few angles to seem more convincing.

The scammers pretend to be with Spartanburg County Law Enforcement, and you don’t just get a call, but an email.  It’s already fooled several people into giving up more than a thousand dollars each.

The voicemail starts out like this:

“My name is Lt. Byrd, I’m with the Spartanburg County Civil Processing Division.”

And when Monica Androes got the call it took her by surprise.

“He sounded very professional, like he was really a LT. calling,” she said.

What made it even more convincing was it was followed by an email with a realistic document issuing a fine for failure to appear in court for a Jury duty summons.

“I looked at the paperwork and it looked really real. And it had Hope Blackley on the top, and my husband had recently done jury duty, and he said she’s the real deal.  He said you don’t want to mess around with that,” said Androes.

It’s the scammers who may not want to mess with the real Hope Blackley.

“We’ve contacted the FBI,” said Blackley. 

“This is appalling.  We’ve had multiple calls from citizens who have paid these fines, and 917.58 cents is a lot of money.  I want to stop this in its tracks before it gets even worse,” said Blackley.

The Spartanburg County Clerk of Court says so far more than a dozen people have reported the scam, and three have paid the fine.

The victims say they’re especially concerned about not only seeing their full name, but their address and birth date on the documentation.

“I’m trying to contact a Monica Androes or a Monica Paige.”

Androes says the caller even knew her maiden name.

“It was so right that it was hard to believe it was wrong, if that makes sense,” said Androes.

Blackley says the County will never ask you to pay a fine for not showing up to Jury Duty.

And government offices don’t use Money Pak for payment.

That’s one of the main red flags that stopped Andreos from falling victim.

“That’s just wrong, so I couldn’t just, I couldn’t just let it go.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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