Crime

If you get a call that you missed jury duty and are now wanted for arrest, it’s a scam

Don’t get scammed

Ameren Illinois gives tips on how to avoid scams after metro-east communities are being targeting with fake utility bills.
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Ameren Illinois gives tips on how to avoid scams after metro-east communities are being targeting with fake utility bills.

Law enforcement officials are warning St. Clair County residents of a scam by someone impersonating a sheriff’s deputy.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Richard Watson said that someone has been calling area residents and identifying himself as a St. Clair County deputy. The man then goes into a story of how the person being called missed jury duty and there is a warrant out for their arrest. The resident is then instructed to send money to an address to clear up the matter.

“This is a scam pure and simple,” Watson wrote in a news release. “The Sheriff’s Department will never call you to send money anywhere to clear up any issues, whether it is a warrant or a traffic ticket. This is true not only in St. Clair County but any other county in Illinois.”

Last year, a similar scam occurred in Shiloh, prompting the police department to issue a similar warning.

Watson urged residents to be cautious whenever they’re contacted by anyone asking for money or gift cards. He mentioned similar scams where people will call offering to fix a computer or tell people that their grandchild is in jail.

“Before you buy gift cards or send money anywhere, always check with someone,” Watson wrote. “Call a family member or you can always call your police department and speak to an officer.”

Hana Muslic has been covering breaking news and crime for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.


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