MASON CITY | Several area residents have received phony jury duty calls, adding to the list of popular scams in North Iowa, Mason City police say.
According to police, several area residents received a surprise phone call from a caller who claims to be a deputy or U.S. Marshal. The caller's number may show local area codes.
The caller would then tell the recipient that he or she has missed jury duty and a warrant will be issued for the recipient’s arrest unless they pay money immediately, such as through a prepaid gift card or electronic wire transfer.
Scammers typically try to convince the recipient that there is some type of urgency and the money must be sent without delay or there will be consequences.
Police warn that scam phone calls and emails occur all the time and people should be wary of unsolicited calls or emails from strangers.
Once money is wired or sent to a stranger, it is highly unlikely that the funds will be recovered.
People should also be wary of callers who say they are their grandchildren, IRS agents or utility employees but are demanding money immediately.