Police are warning Colonial Heights residents about this jury scam

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Posted at 5:17 PM, Nov 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-21 12:25:37-05

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- The Colonial Heights Police Department is warning city residents about a telephone scam where the caller says they have "federal warrants" for their arrest.

The caller then says the warrants can go away only if the person sends money.

On Saturday, Noah Allen received one of these calls, and says he was almost fooled.

"At first I really thought it was real," Allen said. "He said this is Officer Thinnes from the Colonial Heights Police Department and that I missed my federally mandated jury duty."

The caller then told Allen that the matter could be cleared up, if he paid $1000 by using a QR code or through other types of payment apps.

"Apple Pay, J-Pay, Google Pay, they named all the Electronic Payments, Cash App, Venmo, and said we could pay by any of these forms," Allen said.

However, he later realized that the caller made a number of mistakes: the scammer used a wrong address, and there is no federal court in Colonial Heights. There were other inconsistencies as well.

"They’re saying a specific Officer and if you look at our website, you might find that Officer actually works here," Colonial Heights Police Sergeant Desiree McCurry said. “But their Badge Number may be incorrect."

Sergeant McCurry says over the weekend around six people called reporting they received a similar call.

“I can 100 percent tell you that a local Police Department would not call in reference to a federal warrant," McCurry said.

Allen says it is important that seniors are made aware of this scam to prevent them from falling victim.

"I couldn’t imagine the people out there who would be scared by this, would be fooled by this, elderly people.”

Colonial Heights Police took to social media over the weekend to alert the community about the scam. Police say if you do receive a call, hang up and call the non-emergency number at 804.520.9300.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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