NEW CUMBERLAND - Area residents are being targeted through a new scam by individuals attempting to elicit funds by means of fines for failure to appear for jury duty.
Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said the sheriff's department received numerous reports of a man claiming to be with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office or with a district court claiming there was a warrant issued for residents for failure to report for jury duty. He said the man, who identified himself as an officer, told the individuals they would need to stop at a retailer and get a "voucher" to make a payment for the fine.
Fletcher said each individual was given an amount for the fine that varied by several hundred dollars. A point of concern, he added, is the caller did not tell the individuals where to make the payment, but said someone would come to their location and get them.
"No court system would notify individuals this way nor would they request payment to be made in this manner," he said. "We are urging area residents to take caution and report any calls of this nature to the authorities."
Fletcher said reports indicate the caller is targeting the older population. He said extra precautions should be taken with elderly residents who might believe the caller and be willing to leave their home with anyone with whom they are not familiar.
Detectives with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office are working with Weirton Police Detectives Division to obtain additional information.
Calls can be reported to the Hancock County Sheriff's Office at (304) 564-4100 or Weirton Police Detectives at (304) 797-8555.