In an email, Sellitto told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the FBI has records of about 529 victims with losses totaling nearly $200,000 nationwide. “These numbers are just from the victims we have identified,” Sellitto said. “There are likely many more victims and potential victims that haven’t reported to (us).”
Those contacted may be told they have fines for outstanding warrants, are in contempt of court for failure to appear for jury duty, or could be asked to provide some form of payment (gift cards, bank deposits, voucher purchases, etc.) to clear court fines in order to avoid jail time. Additionally, scammers may request videos or photos of individuals conducting personal strip searches as a means of clearing fines or avoiding jail, the FBI said.
Anyone receiving voicemails from local law enforcement officials demanding callbacks should not respond, but instead call local authorities to report the scam. The FBI reminds the public that law enforcement will never call regarding an arrest warrant for missed jury duty, won’t ask for payment to clear warrants and will never request pictures or videos from individuals for any reason. “Many police departments are likely receiving similar scam reports but haven’t conducted enough research to realize it’s an ongoing national scam,” Sellitto said. “We’re doing our best to work with them and gather information.”
Travis McMichael sits with his attorneys before the start of closing arguments to the jury during the trial of he, and his father Greg McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan, at the Glynn County Courthouse, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. The three men charged with the February 2020 slaying of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
For further information or to report this activity, contact FBI Atlanta at 770-216-3000 or file a report with the FBI at www.IC3.gov. Mandi Albright is an audience specialist for the Education and Local Government teams. The Richard B. Russell Jr. Special Collections Libraries Building at the University of Georgia in Athens is named after the former governor and U.S. senator who is also described as someone who fought against civil rights legislation. A University System of Georgia advisory group recommended the building’s name be changed, along with more than six dozen buildings and colleges across the system. The state’s Board of Regents on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 decided against such changes. University of Georgia file photo.
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