Sheriff issues jury summons fraud alert

Sheriff John Anderson this morning issued a fraud alert to citizens in both Madera and its neighboring counties. “If you get a call from anyone claiming to represent the Madera County Sheriff’s Department concerning a jury summons, hang up and notify your local authorities.”

A Fresno man received a call from the following phone number (559) 267-6565. A man on the other end identified himself as Lt. Dale Simmons, with the Madera County Sheriff’s Department. The caller threatened the victim with arrest, telling him he had 45 minutes to pay a fine for failing to appear for jury duty. He ordered the victim to load $3,999 on a pre-paid money card.

Deputies called the number and a female, identifying herself as Patricia Owens, answered stating, “Madera County Sheriff’s Department, Warrants Division.”

The cellular number is supposedly registered to a Raymond, CA address, however, the calls are coming from the state of Georgia.

Sheriff Anderson says if you receive a cold call from anyone claiming to be a court official or Sheriff’s Deputy, regarding a jury duty summons, or a warrant issued for your arrest, hang up immediately and contact your local law enforcement agency.

- Madera County Sheriff's Department