The Wake Forest Police Department is urging area residents to guard against becoming the victim of fraud following recently reported phone scams involving Google Play gift cards.
Residents have reported receiving calls from phony sheriff’s deputies who claim they skipped jury duty and a subsequent court date. The caller says a warrant has been issued for their arrest, or soon will be, but they can pay a fine now and avoid being arrested.
According to police officials, these con artists are trying to exploit your fear of getting on the wrong side of the law, and hoping they can squeeze money out of you before you realize it’s a scam.
In a common scenario, the scammer asks you to buy Google Play gift cards from the nearest retailer. After you buy them, the scammer asks for the code on the back of the card or an image of it.
Once you provide the code, the scammer can use all the money on the gift card. In most cases, they will spend it all before you can contact Google or the police.
To protect yourself, remember:
- Never use Google Play gift cards to pay for anything outside Google Play.
- Never share the code on the back of the gift card.
- Real notices for jury duty arrive by mail.
- Legitimate public officials won’t call to threaten you with arrest if you don’t show up for jury duty or fail to pay a fine immediately.
- Hang up on jury duty scammers and other crooks who try to trick you out of your hard-earned money.
- If someone tries to get you to use a prepaid debit card or a gift card to pay money they say you owe them, you are almost certainly being scammed.
If you believe that you are a victim of this type of crime, report it to your local police department.