LA GRANGE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The Oldham County Sheriff's Office and the Better Business Bureau are working together after dozens of people have been the target of a jury duty scam.

The FBI has been warning people about this the jury duty scam for the better part of a decade, but today's crooks are throwing in a new twist by adding in intimate knowledge of your neighborhood that they're getting from your local phone book.

Jury duty is part of your civic duty

“At one time or another in their life they’re probably going to be contacted about helping out with jury duty,” said Dep. Michael Meece.

However, something didn’t sit right with Baxter Eaves when he was called for jury selection.

“I had a message on the answering machine, and it said it was from the Oldham County Sheriff’s Department and that it was a time sensitive matter,” said Eaves.

Someone identifying themselves as Ofc. Brandon Melrose told Meece he had a warrant out for his arrest, but there was an easy way to avoid jail.

“They wanted, believe it or not, Target gift cards,” said Eaves.

After calling the Oldham County Sheriff’s Office, Eaves quickly found out that there was no Ofc. Melrose, and that someone was attempting to scam him.

“In the course of a day we will probably handle about 80 calls from people who are either scammed or potentially about ready to be scammed,” said Bruce Gadansky. “Hopefully they still have their money.”

“Law enforcement, or your bank, will never ask for personal information on the phone nor will they ever ask for money on the phone,” said Dep. Meece. “That’s not the process, and it’s not the way it’s done.”

These days’ scammers have become increasingly efficient by involving the names of judges, sheriff’s deputies, police chiefs, and even using local numbers but you can protect yourself by offering to call back and immediately calling the police.

“Many times we’ve called these numbers through investigations and they show virtually no remorse what so ever because they know there’s a high probability we’re not going to be able to locate them,” said Dep. Meece.

“It’s just unbelievable what people will do to take advantage of other people,” said Eaves. “With that type of sophistication and innovative thought, one would think they could do quite well in a legitimate business.”

If you feel like you have been the target or victim of a similar scam you are being asked to call your local law enforcement officials.

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