The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office has recently received numerous calls from people responding to a telephone scam telling them to send money to the Sheriff’s Office using gift cards to pay fines or bail for a grandchild.
Sheriff Jack Serier reminds everyone that the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office does not call people and ask for gift cards for any reason.
Two scams are currently very active and both appear to be targeting elderly persons.
The “Jury Duty Scam” has the thief calling people and telling them that they didn’t appear for their jury duty and are at risk of a misdemeanor crime and penalty. The scammer then tells them they can stay out of jail by purchasing gift cards and calling the scammer back with the code numbers.
The “Grandchild in Jail Scam” has the thief calling people, pretending to be a grandchild who is in trouble and needs money to get out of jail. Again the bail or fine can be paid with a gift card.
The sheriff’s office urges residents to not fall victim to telephone scams. They are easy to spot if everyone knows about them. If anyone contacts you and requests gift cards for any law enforcement related reason it is a scam, the sheriff’s office stated.
Anyone who is contacted should hang up, write down the information of the person making contact and call 9-1-1 to report the crime.
The sheriff’s office urges everyone to share this information with family and neighbors, especially with senior citizens who appear to be the targets of the scam.
More information about current scams and frauds is available at ftc.gov.