No one — except a scammer — is going to demand that you Venmo them cash to cover a fine for not appearing for jury duty. Repeat: No one.
But scammers are doing just that and targeting Venmo users in Wayne County with some pretty incredible threats.
Locally, consumers report hearing from a caller who falsely identifies himself as a member of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. Then, the impostor demands that $1,500 to $2,000 be paid by Venmo immediately or else the resident will be arrested for missing jury duty.
Criminals, of course, want you to panic and think something terrible will happen to you. Once you’re thrown off guard, they’re demanding money via Venmo or gift cards.
And remember, you can’t always trust caller ID because the sophisticated scammers know how to make the call seem like the real deal.
In 2020, people reported losing more than $174 million to government impostor scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The median loss was $1,250.
The FTC reported that it received 346,372 reports of government impostor scams from consumers during the first nine months of 2021 — with reported losses hitting $331 million. The median loss was $1,200.
Popular scams include:
- Crooks claim to be from Social Security and demand money because a Social Security number was compromised.
- Fraudsters claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service and demand payment for taxes on gift cards.
- And, yes, con artists continue to claim to be from the local sheriff’s office.