CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs is warning schools about a jury duty scam that is targeting teachers after a local teacher lost $2,000 to the scam.
The department said in a news release that a scammer posing as a deputy will call a school and ask for a teacher by name. The scammer will then tell the teacher that he or she missed jury duty and that an angry judge is about to issue a warrant.
The scam is designed to scare teachers into paying a fake penalty to avoid arrest.
Consumer Affairs says "scammers may instruct teachers to leave their workplace immediately to go to the Justice Center, but this is a ploy to further the scam. Once a teacher is enroute, the scammer directs the victim instead to purchase gift cards or reloadable cards to pay a penalty."
There have been multiple scam calls to Strongsville and Cleveland schools, the department said. One teacher filed a police report with Cleveland Police after being scammed out of $2,000. The Consumer Affairs tells everyone that if you ever get a fold with suspicious information be weary.
"I would say anytime someone calls you and they give you they give you information that makes your heart go fast or makes you freak out a little bit. Anytime someone calls you with news that's upsetting. You want to take a step back, stop talking to the person and think about other ways you can verify," said Sheryl Harris, the Director of Consumer Affairs for Cuyahoga County.
Consumer Affairs is asking all Cuyahoga County school districts to warn staff that all jury duty arrest calls are scams.
Schools and teachers should report jury duty arrest calls immediately to Scam Squad at 216-443-SCAM(7226) or online here.
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