Law-enforcement authorities are investigating a series of recent “jury scams” in which callers use legal terms including “bench warrant” and “contempt of court” to intimidate victims into sending them prepaid cards.

The scammers are mentioning the names of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Judge L. Todd Burke in the scams.

Authorities said the callers claim to be representing the sheriff’s office, and tell the victims that they have missed jury duty and need to pay $1,000 or more in the form of prepaid money cards.

The scammer instructs the victim to send the prepaid cards to certain addresses. Authorities said the scammers have been providing victims with the phone number 336-631-4531 that, when called, has a recorded message indicating that the caller has reached the sheriff’s office, complete with numeric options so the caller can select different divisions.

The scammers do not speak with foreign-sounding accents.

Officials said people should never provide money by means of prepaid cards to people calling on the phone, and that in the case of a legitimate warrant, authorities will never void it in exchange for a payment.

Residents of Forsyth County, who have been contacted by a scammer, should call the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office at 336-727-2112. Residents of Winston-Salem who have been contacted by a scammer should call the Winston-Salem Police Department at 336-773-7700.

People contacted by someone claiming to be a deputy should get that person’s name and number, then call the sheriff’s office at 336-727-2112 with the information. Authorities can confirm whether the phone call was valid.

wyoung@wsjournal.com

336-727-7369

@wyoungWSJ

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