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Jury Duty Phone Scam Hits North Texas

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - They claim that you have missed jury duty, and that you are heading to jail unless you pay a fine. But now, U.S. Marshals are warning of this new scam that is sweeping North Texas.

Investigators said that the callers claim to be U.S. Marshals or local law enforcement. They claim that the receiver of the call missed a jury duty date and that a judge has issued a warrant for their arrest.

"I said, 'I never got the notice.' And he said, 'Well, are you having problems in your neighborhood with your mailman?' And I said, 'Yeah, we are actually!' because we are," said Robin Guinther, who received the call recently.

Guinther spent the next two hours on the phone with the caller and traveled to a nearby Kroger. It was there where she loaded two Green Dot Visa cards with nearly $1,000 on each card. "I was just trying to be a good citizen and do what I needed to do. Obviously I don't want to sit in jail," said Guinther.

She read off the numbers of the cards over the phone and then mailed them to the U.S. Marshals Service office in Dallas.

"They have done their homework and the sound very legitimate," said Chief Deputy Richard Taylor with the U.S. Marshals Service. Taylor said that U.S. Marshals will never call and ask for money over the phone.

"They're always going to make a mistake and, when they make that mistake, we're going to be there," said Taylor.

While Guinther is out $2,000, she is hoping that the next time someone picks up the phone, it will not be so costly. "It's the fact that it's gone and I have nothing to show for it," said Guinther. "I handed it to him."

Investigators said that if anyone gets a similar call, they can simply hang up or call local law enforcement to confirm any outstanding warrants.

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