Jury duty scam run by prison gang hits Baton Rouge area
BATON ROUGE - It's a scam that has been going on for a couple years now, but just hit Baton Rouge in January. Detectives say the last reported case was two weeks ago.
It starts simple enough--you get a call from a 225 area code. The person on the other end says they are a police officer and may even use a local officer's name.
Next they say you've missed jury duty and in order to avoid prison time, you must pay a fine immediately.
"They paid the fine. Some people paid up to 2 thousand dollars," explained Detective Willy Stewart.
It has affected 24 people this year just in East Baton Rouge parish. According to detectives, people have lost more than $30,000.
"As law enforcement we would never try to solicit money or take care of any kind of criminal matter over the phone," said Stewart.
In fact, its the exact opposite of law enforcement that is behind the calls because they're behind bars. It's a prison gang that calls themselves the Ghostfaced Gangsters. The group operates from inside prisons across Alabama and Georgia.
"Apparently these people were going online, using a Baton Rouge directory, targeting professional people."
The same scam has been documented nationally and several indictments have already been made against current gang members.
But the victims in Baton Rouge, have yet to see their money back.
"Obviously there's going to be some money retrieved from the gang. How that's going to be resolved? We're not sure."
EBRSO urges you to call them if you have received a call like this and of course not to give the callers any information.