PUEBLO, Colo. — Did you miss jury duty? That’s what a fraudster in Pueblo wants you to believe. News5 is learning more about these law enforcement imposter calls and how to handle the situation if it happens to you.
According to investigators the person making these calls is after your money and sensitive information. He wants you to believe he works at the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office. Using a local number to make these calls people are picking up and they tell News5 he’s pretty convincing.
”This is happening and it’s not just a robocop from a foreign county. They are live people who sound like local people and that’s scary,” said Pueblo Resident Autumn Pagano.
She tells News5 she had just got home from work when her phone rang with a local phone number, so she answered. The man on the phone said he was Officer Robinson from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and she was in trouble for failing to appear for jury duty. She was told she needed to make a bail payment. Plus, she needed to verify information including her signature.
”He told me I had a warrant out for my arrest and I was going to have to post bail if I got arrested and I needed to take care of this right away,” said Pagano.
Normally she would’ve hung up, but she just got a jury summons a couple of weeks ago and started to second guess herself about it.
”I Thought it was a big mistake on my part,” said Pagano.
But Pagano says she spotted a red flag that made her end the call.
”When they told me they had to stay on the phone with them while I drove down to the courthouse I knew something was not right, so I hung up and called the sheriff’s office,” said Pagano.
Officials at the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office told her this was an imposter scam and even directed News5 to a post on the agency’s facebook page letting people know about it too.
“Those missing jury duty are never contacted by phone and the Sheriff’s Office will never call asking for payment of warrants or financial information,” the post reads.
Pagano says even though she knows she did the right thing, she’s still bothered by the experience.
”It was actually terrifying because I’m an honest person and I thought I was doing the right thing. A live person is telling me to show up at some place and there was a warrant out for my arrest. I really was torn at first,” said Pagano.
No matter where you live in Colorado if you get one of these calls you can always hang up and call your local law enforcement agency to find out if it is legitimate. Also, if you get one of these calls it’s important to report it, that’s how investigators can track these trends and try to hold the people behind these calls accountable.
You can report these calls to local law enforcement, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, and the FTC.
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