This past week, a number of residents received phone calls from scammers identifying themselves as the Rice County Sheriff’s Office staff and stating that they are following up on legal action.

They state that you failed to appear for jury duty and the judge has issued a warrant for your arrest. They then offer you the opportunity to pay your fine or bail over the phone by giving them a credit card number or a bank account number. They use the names of former and current staff members as well as current judge’s names in these calls.

This is a hoax.

If this were the real thing, the Sheriff’s Office would not offer to let you pay a fine or bail over the phone, you would get a personal visit by a real deputy. The caller ID being used is a valid non-emergency phone number, but the call back number is a different number being answered by non-Rice County Sheriff’s Office staff.

Do not give any personal information over the phone. Call the Sheriff’s Office’s non-emergency number (507-334-4391) to confirm if it really is legitimate official Sheriff’s Office business. Share information about this scam with your friends and family so they don’t become a victim of this crime.

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