BURNET — Sheriff’s investigators apparently foiled the latest phone scam after several residents reported receiving a call from a “deputy” who threatened them with jail time for missing jury duty.
On Jan. 30, the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office received a number of phone calls from concerned residents as well as district court personnel in Burnet County.
“We received four calls here at the sheriff’s office in about two hours,” BCSO Capt. Chris Jett said. “The district court called over here and stated they were starting to get calls about people missing jury duty.”
The callers reported that a “Deputy James Henderson” had called them and explained that they had failed to show up for jury duty and there was a warrant for their arrest. They could avoid jail time by getting a pre-paid credit card and paying a fine over the phone.
BCSO staff turned the tables on the caller claiming to be “Deputy James Henderson” by inundating the number, (830) 953-1108, with requests for call backs.
“We don’t have a deputy by that name. There was a very legitimate-sounding voice mail (at the number). Now, the phone number is disconnected,” Jett said. “We were able to establish that the phone number is a voice-over IP (internet phone), so they literally could be anywhere in the world.”
Authorities applauded residents for following up with the agency and cautioned others to do the same.
“A legitimate law enforcement agency is not going to demand payment for a warrant over the phone,” he said. “If there’s any doubt, hang up and call us.”
Also, any questions about jury summonses should be directed to the Burnet County District Clerk’s Office at (512) 756-5450.