EMMETT - Emmett's police chief and mayor are spreading the word that a phone scam that has made the rounds in various parts of the U.S. during the past year or so is targeting Idahoans.
The victims of this jury duty scam get a call from someone calling from what appears to be an Emmett number for the U.S. Marshals Office. The fraudulent number used is 208-398-3917.
The recipient of the call is told that they failed to report for federal jury duty and are threatened with arrest. The victims are told they can avoid being arrested by sending a sizable amount of money as "bail."
Officials said a Genesee couple received one of these calls last week.
The scammers described the layout of the couple's ranch by using Google Earth, then the caller provided a fake story about how the couple left the "original summons" to jury service.
The couple believed the calls were local because "local-looking" numbers - such as the county sheriff - showed up on their caller ID. The caller also identified themselves as one of the deputies who actually works for the sheriff's office.
After the couple refused to send money, the scammers called the sheriff's office and impersonated the husband. They threatened to shoot any deputy who set foot on the couple's property and tried to arrest them.
The call was determined to be scam, since the couple was on the phone with dispatch when the fraudulent call was made.
Officials ask anyone receiving a call or email about missing jury duty to contact the state or federal court through the information given in the phone book or on the court's website - not the number given by the scammers.
State nor federal courts don't make threatening phone calls or ask for personal information over the phone when someone misses jury duty.