Residents warned about phone scams from local numbers

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Lewisburg Police Department warned residents to be aware of scam phone calls after two reports this week.

On Monday two women filed police reports regarding calls they had received saying that they had missed jury duty and would need to pay fines in order to avoid charges.

Of course, neither woman had actually missed a summons for jury duty.

In both cases, the caller identified himself as James Thompson and called from 931-488-4502.

One of the potential victims said the she was told to withdraw $750 from her bank account and purchase prepaid cash cards at Walgreens in order to satisfy the “court costs.”

That woman went to the courthouse and spoke with Sheriff Billy Lamb, who turned the matter over to Lewisburg detectives.

The other victim reported that the man identifying himself as James Thompson, mentioned Lamb and Court Clerk Courtney Boatright by name as well, in order to make the scam more convincing.

She was told that she would need $2,400 to satisfy court costs for having missed jury duty. The caller threatened her with jail if she did not pay these costs.

The caller informed her that the Walgreens in Lewisburg was out of the Moneypak cards he wanted her to purchase.

He directed her to a Walgreens store in Shelbyville and stayed on the phone with her the entire way until she had purchased the cards and given him the serial numbers with which he could move the cash to his account.

Scammers typically look for payment methods like prepaid cash cards which are untraceable.

LPD reminds residents to be cautious when unknown callers phone demanding money over some infraction.

Jury notices or summonses, for example, are delivered through the mail and court employees do not call asking for personal information.

Law enforcement will not call with a warning if there has been an arrest warrant issued.

Last year, there was a rash of similar calls claiming to come from the Internal Revenue Service, demanding immediate payment on unpaid taxes or arrest warrants would be issued.