RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh couple is scammed out of thousands of dollars, and warn if they can fall for this law enforcement imposter scam, anyone can.
April Hubbard said she received a call from someone pretending to be with the sheriff’s office, saying she missed her grand jury selection. She’s led to believe there were three warrants out on her. There are none.
Her husband William looked up the judge and saw he is a real federal judge. The scammers used the address of the Wake County Detention Center and the caller ID showed up as coming from the sheriff’s office.
“They played every avenue that would make you think this is legit,” April Hubbard said.
Her options? She could pay money and be able to meet with the judge or be booked at the Wake County Detention Center. She said the scammers also told her she could be arrested if she was pulled over for any traffic violation no matter how minor.
The Hubbards are nurse anesthetists who get frequent background checks for their license.
“If we had not been in the medical field and didn’t have to worry about this, it’d have been different,” she said. “I would’ve just said we’re just gonna work this out, like I didn’t even drive myself to work the next day because I can’t have that.”
They paid $1,500 thinking things would be settled, but there were more calls.
“It was kind of just overwhelming, the personal stuff, and the lengths of the things that they would say,” April Hubbard said.
They made two more payments after the scammers came up with stories of why more money was needed.
They lost a total of $5,000.
When William called the scammers back to make sure their appointment with the judge was set, the number was disconnected. That’s when he knew it was a scam.
“A huge sense of relief believe it or not,” William Hubbard said. “Yes, we were out $5,000, but I cannot tell you the amount of stress that it put on her and me, but her especially because this arrest warrant supposedly against her and so she was so upset about it, and I just felt good for her and for me too, you know, that we don’t have to face this anymore.”
Wake County Sheriff’s Major Greg Newkirk said scammers are getting very good at their game. He said if someone contacts you pretending to be law enforcement, hang up and then contact the actual law enforcement agency.
“You will never be contacted by phone, email, social media, or any solicitation for money,” Newkirk said.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said it’s received one complaint of a jury duty scam so far this year, five complaints in 2022, and three complaints in 2021. They said there are other types of scams where people impersonate law enforcement officers too.
William said he contacted the judge’s office immediately after realizing this was a scam and is now working with the U.S. Marshall’s Office.
He said in hindsight he should’ve done that sooner and hopes others will learn from them.
“I think if it could happen to us, it could happen to anybody,” William Hubbard said.
The couple also filed a police report and are working with multiple law enforcement agencies, hoping the scammers will be caught.
A spokesperson for North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s Office said victims of this scam should file a complaint with their office here or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. They also said to report it to law enforcement.
The spokesperson said people should contact their bank and the payment platform if they’ve lost money. The Hubbards are taking those steps too to try and get their money back.