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Benton police warn residents of possible scam

June 19, 2014

Benton Police Department is investigating a scam purportedly related to jury duty.

Lt. Kevin Russell, public information officer, explained how the scam works.

A person identifies himself as a Benton police officer in a phone call, then says the person has missed jury duty and a judge has ordered a warrant for the individual's arrest.

The scammer then attempts to convince the victim to provide credit card information so the person can "take care of it," Russell said.

He said he is aware of only one victim in Benton.

"Unfortunately, the victim was scammed out of several hundred dollars in this case," Russell said.

In a similar tactic used in another part of the state, the victim was told he or she needed to pay several hundred dollars with prepaid money cards to avoid an arrest warrant, Russell said.

This is not the way police departments operate, he explained.

"We will never demand payment from you over the phone," Russell said. "We will never ask to meet you somewhere out of the way to make payments or be served with a warrant."

However, the individuals involved in this type of activity are subject to arrest, he said.

"We will press charges on anyone impersonating an officer to the fullest extent of the law," Russell said.

If a person is ever in doubt about the legitimacy of an officer's identity, he or she may contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171.

The Saline County Sheriff's Office also has received reports about a similar scam, Russell said.

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