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‘Jury Duty Scam’: Tacoma man warns of fake cop calling, demanding payment of ‘fees’ or else

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TACOMA — You may dread jury duty, but now police are warning about a jury duty scam that could cost you thousands of dollars.

A Tacoma man nearly fell victim, and wants to warn other potential victims out there.

“It just goes to show that these guys can invade your privacy, they can walk in and just basically take what they want,” said Alan Downey, who nearly gave up $1,000, because he thought he was in trouble with the law.

The person on the other end of the phone line claimed to be with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. He even gave Downey his name and badge number.

“He said I was in violation of a summons for a grand jury that happened back in May, that I was responsible for all these fees which totaled over a thousand dollars,” Downey said.

Downey never received a jury summons in the mail, but he said the man on the other end of the line sounded so official, he was ready to meet with him, and give him his debit card information.  Downey was caught in the web of an elaborate scam.

"Whenever you have someone threatening you on the phone to pay or else, it`s a scam," said detective Ed Troyer, with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. "No real government agency does that."

Downey credits his girlfriend with keeping him from paying the scammers. She called the sheriff's department and found out those names and badge numbers were fake.

Police say if he had given out his debit card information, the scammers would likely have also stolen his identity.

Downey knows they're calling other potential victims and wants people to be aware of the scammers out to take their money.

"If you're not thinking clear enough, and if they scare you enough, they have got you hook, line, and sinker."