Local News

Aug 14, 2014 5:36 PM by Janine Reyes

Sheriff's Deputies: Jury Duty Scammer Difficult to Catch

CORPUS CHRISTI -- A scam that first surfaced in the Coastal Bend back in February is still going on strong.

It's known as the jury duty scam and investigators say the crook behind it is nearly impossible to catch.

We called the man who identified himself as Sargent John Hall with the Nueces County Sheriff's Office in a call he made just yesterday, but he hung up on us and refused to answer our return calls.

The sheriff's office says they have no Sgt. John Hall and the man is a scammer.

We sat in on a call his targeted victim made to him today. "I'm not getting any information on your amount, other than you are on my case load and it is concerning a bench warrant," he told his target. He also asked to be taken off of speaker phone.

The irony is that he identifies himself as being with the sheriff's office, but, Chief Deputy John Galvan says his own sheriff's office deputies have even called the man out on his scam before.

"(The lieutenant) told him 'we know that you're doing this' and he told him, 'yeah, I know it's a scam, but you all ain't going to catch me,'" Galvan said.

Charles Lamb spoke with scammer yesterday.

"When you hung up with him, were you 100% certain this was a scam," we asked him.

"No, absolutely not, I was 100% certain that a cop car was going to show up at my door and I was going to go to jail," Lamb replied.

The caller told Charles to load $1500 onto a prepaid card. He did not, opting instead to call the sheriff's office directly.

Lamb is not the only targeted victim in this scam.

Margaret stanley lost $2,000 in February when she put cash on two Green Dot cards. Another man lost $3,000 last week. The problem is so big that Judge Bobby Galvan held a news conference just last week to alert people these scammers are slick.

But judging by today's call with the man and Lamb, these scammers are still using Galvan's name.

"For Bobby Galvan it was the district judge," the man who calls himself Sgt. John Hall told Charles.

The sheriff's department is pretty sure these scammers are collecting quite a bit of cash and that's a felony. The problem is the caller is not traceable.

"Those ghost phones, you run down to stripes and buy one, and when you run out of minutes, you, whenever you want to throw it away, you just throw it away," Chief Deputy Galvan said.

By the way, Nueces County does not issue fines for people who do not show up for the initial jury summons and they never collect on warrants by phone.

The man who identified himself as Sgt. John Hall hung up on us when we called today.

His voice mail identifies him as a member of the sheriff's office.

Those he's called want to warn you that he is very convincing.

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