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BENTONVILLE -- Benton County Circuit Clerk Brenda Deshields wants people to know her office does not call people for jury service without warning.

"People have to be on our current panel, and they also probably attended the orientation," she said.

The telephone number for the Benton County Circuit’s Clerk’s Office is (479) 271-1015 and the number for the Benton County Sheriff’s Office is (479) 271-1008

DeShields said she is concerned about a scam concerning jury duty that may target Benton County residents. She heard from a doctor who received a telephone call concerning failing to appear for a jury trial after being summoned by DeShields.

The caller claimed to be "Deputy Walker" with the Benton County Sheriff's Office, and he claimed that Circuit Judge John Scott had issued an arrest warrant for the doctor, DeShields said. The caller said the doctor should come to the Sheriff's Office and pay him a fine to avoid arrest, according to DeShields. The call happened Monday when the Benton County Courthouse was closed for Washington's birthday so the doctor could not confirm the information, she said.

The doctor called his attorney and confirmed it was a scam.

We call to summons people, but only if they are on the current panel," she said.

DeShields said she's also never known for a judge to issue an arrest warrant for a person who failed to report for jury duty.

Sgt. Shannon Jenkins, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office, said no deputy with the surname Walker works for the office. Jenkins said they had received telephone calls concerning the scam.

"The scams are always the same, but the story line changes a little bit," Jenkins said. "We will never call someone for money."

Jenkins said fines are handled by the courts in criminal cases and are not paid at the Sheriff's Office.

Washington County Circuit Clerk Kyle Sylvester said he was aware of the scam, but his office had not received any calls concerning it. Sylvester said his office only calls those people serving on the current jury panel.

DeShields and Jenkins urged people to call their county's circuit clerk's office or sheriff's office if they receive similar calls.

NW News on 02/22/2018

Print Headline: Officials say jury duty calls a scam

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