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Jury Summons Scam Had Woman 'Freaking Out' ... Until She Visited Safeway

By Makenzie O'Keefe

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) - If you get a call saying you missed jury duty, it's likely a scam. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is warning people about a scam like this that is circulating, and has unknowing victims sending strangers thousands of dollars.

The issue however, is not limited to Jefferson County. Police across the Denver Metro area say it's a scam that they see quite often.

Kip McCarten was hit by scammers last weekend. She said she woke up to a missed call from someone pretending to be from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.

(credit: CBS)

"She said there is a warrant out for my arrest because I had missed federal jury," McCarten said. "They said there were three charges pending against me and that I needed to come down and post bond."

Worried that the jury summons may have gotten lost in the mail, McCarten did exactly as the "officers" said.

"I'm just freaking. I'm freaking out at this point," she said.

Not wanting to go to jail, McCarten said she went to her bank and took out a large amount of cash. The scammers on the other line asked her to use a green dot MoneyPak card to make her bond payments.

moneypak card
(credit: CBS)

After giving the scammers the numbers on the cards, they told her she needed to purchase two more cards at the Safeway across the street. That's when an employee there stopped her and asked why she was purchasing the cards.

"She said it sounds like a scam and all the sudden I looked at her and was like 'Oh my god, it is a scam,'" McCarten said. "I'm so thankful she stopped me."

The employee at Safeway (credit: CBS)

The woman working at Safeway prevented McCarten from losing another $1,000. The grocery store said their employees are trained to ask about these MoneyPak cards, because they are often linked to scams.

Police say they will never solicit payment over the phone and that arrest warrants cannot be dismissed by payments.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office added that arrest warrants are typically not issued for people who miss jury duty. In their scam incidents, the scammers claim to be Chief Dan Gard.

Makenzie O'Keefe joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2017. Read her bio, connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter at @makenziepokeefe or email her your story ideas.

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