Jury duty used as device in scam

When a man called Tuesday morning to speak to Angeline Clark, her husband, Milton, a retired Army helicopter pilot, couldn’t believe what he heard.

The man, who said he was sheriff’s Lt. Carl Jones, badge No. 7455, said he had a warrant for Angeline Clark’s arrest. When Angeline Clark, 65, returned home and called the man back she was shocked to learn that the warrant was for failing to report for jury duty though she had been excused from jury duty in October for medical reasons.

“I told him I had a letter of excuse. He told me it was not filed and I was going to be arrested,” she said Thursday at her northwest Las Vegas home.

Because of his title and badge number, the fact he knew she had been sent a jury service notice from the Regional Justice Center and because he had her phone number, she didn’t doubt he was legitimate. But she was confused. She has a signed letter from the Eighth Judicial District Court that said: “This is to inform you that you have been excused from jury service on October 29, 2013.”

She thought there must have been some mistake.

The man told her he could put a hold on the warrant if she went to a Walmart store and purchased a MoneyPak debit card for $625.50.

“I stayed on the phone with him while I got the card and gave him the PIN number. He told me to go to the courthouse and see (a clerk) to get a court date and time,” Angeline Clark said.

The man stayed on the phone while they drove to the courthouse. After about five minutes of quiet, he said he had reached the clerk on another line.

“I could hear phones ringing in the background,” she said. Then the man told them that the clerk “had to leave on a family emergency. He told me to go home.”

“When we got home, he called and gave me a case number,” she said. He also gave her a confirmation number, a court-dispute number and a court date for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“I got suspicious and called jury service and found out the man was a con man,” she said.

By then, the funds from the MoneyPak had been withdrawn.

She filed fraud reports first with her bank and then Las Vegas police. But while she was at the bank, the man called again.

He was put on a speaker phone so the bank representative could hear him, unbeknownst to the man.

“He was asking for her credit information,” Milton Clark said.

Angeline Clark said, “He said the money didn’t go through and he needed credit card information. I said I was at the supermarket and didn’t have a credit card. He said he could track me and arrest me anywhere.”

“He was so convincing, that while he was talking to me when I got the money to send, I got an asthma attack.”

Later she said she tried to call the man back but his phone had been disconnected.

“People should be aware that this is going on. One big giant question I have is, how did he have access to jurors names and who were excused? ” she said. “That’s very terrifying that a con man can get that information.”

How the man did obtain that information is unclear. Las Vegas police had not contacted Angeline Clark Thursday.

In a news release Thursday afternoon, the Eighth Judicial District acknowledged that senior citizens have recently been targeted by a jury scam, saying the scammers are “at it again in Las Vegas.”

“The scammers … attempt to get funds from the victims, often asking for debit card information,” District Court Chief Judge Jennifer P. Togliatti said in the release.

Togliatti said the court “never solicits money on the telephone and I urge residents to report suspicious calls to law enforcement.”