Jury duty scams on the rise

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with other local agencies, including Pierce County, and the Office of the Kitsap County Clerk, is issuing this advisory to residents of another on-going scam that has resumed in the West Sound area.

A person purporting to be a representative of the sheriff’s office has been telephoning citizens to inform them that they have failed to appear for jury service, for “grand jury duty” or for some other offense, and that because of this failure to appear a warrant will be (or has been) issued for their arrest.

The caller next advises that to avoid arrest and erase (or “quash”) the warrant they must pay a sum of money via a prepaid card, such as Green Dot prepaid Visa or MasterCard debit card, MoneyPak card, etc.

Those who have received these “warnings” have reported that the caller sounds “credible… believable.” He reportedly identifies himself as “Stephen Davenport, a court investigator with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department.”

In several instances, an image of a supposed sheriff’s identification card of ‘Stephen Davenport’ was sent by text message to potential victims.

All communications regarding jury duty are sent to county residents in writing.

Neither the sheriff’s office nor the county clerk’s office (or any department of county government) will initiate telephone communications with residents about jury duty, nor threaten anyone missing jury duty. Warrants of arrest are not issued for failure to appear for jury duty service.

Questions about jury service should be addressed to the Office of the Kitsap County Clerk, jury administration, at (360) 337-7166, ext. #6.

Pierce County advises citizens to contact your local law enforcement agency or The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department at (253) 798-4722 if they receive suspicious phone calls, email messages.

– Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office