Jury duty is a civic duty. But what happens when you're not able to serve? A valley man and prospective juror is speaking out after getting a very scary phone call. We have more in a Contact 13 Consumer Alert.
"Identified himself as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department and said that I had a bench warrant out for my arrest," says Dr. Christopher Yach.
This valley veterinarian says he really thought he was going to jail. It was last week when he was told he failed to show up for jury duty. Yach couldn't believe it.
"These guys have all the right answers. They use federal court judges' names. I looked them up as we were talking, and they did exist," Yach says.
In order to avoid going to jail, he was told to pay a fine.
"It was about $2,000," Yach says.
Yach knew something wasn't adding up. They wanted him to pay right over the phone, using a prepaid card from CVS. But Yach knows the courts don't operate that way, and he's right. The call he got is a complete scam.
"We're not gonna call them. And we're not gonna email them," says Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez with the Eighth Judicial District Court.
She says if you miss jury duty, they're simply going to schedule a new appointment for you.
"We're not there to penalize people because they didn't show up. Our goal is to get them on a jury," says Judge Gonzalez.
So if you get a similar call?
"Hang up. Or call Metro and report it," says Judge Gonzalez.
That's exactly what Yach did. They didn't get a dime, and he filed a police report. Now he wants others to know -- don't fall for this scammer's scare tactics.
"When you're in the moment, it sounds reasonable, and the smartest person can be taken ... just don't think you're too smart for it," Yach says.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line. District Court will always contact you by U.S. mail, about appearing for jury duty. So if you get a call like this, report it right away to Las Vegas police. And if you have any doubts, you can call District Court yourself to confirm.
Click here for more information.