DENVER (AP/CBS4) — Jefferson County officials say a man pretending to be a sheriff’s employee is telling people they missed jury duty and need to pay a fine.

The sheriff’s office says the man identifies himself as “Major Tom Wilson” when he calls. He tells people they’ll be arrested unless they buy a reloadable debit card with $1,000 and give him the card’s numbers to access the cash.

The cards are purchased at Walmart and Walgreens. Investigators say the money stolen with the cards is untraceable.

More than 10 people reported the scam last month. Last week, officials say one of the victims was pulled over while driving and talking on the phone with the scammer. During the stop a sheriff’s deputy spoke with the scammer, who told the deputy he would be disciplined if he didn’t allow the driver continue to the store.

“The suspect insisted that he was Major Tom Wilson with the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office, that he’d been here 23 years, which is absolutely not true, and threatened the deputy that if the deputy didn’t let this transaction proceed he would have the deputy arrested for interference and contempt of court,” Mark Techmeyer with the Jefferson county Sheriff’s Office told CBS4.

Phil Karsh received one of the scam calls. The suspect said Karsh’s wife missed her jury duty as well.

“He told me he was going to issue a warrant for her arrest and I told him what he could do with himself,” Karsh said.

Karsh said he wishes he would have asked for a callback number to help the investigation. He says could tell the call wasn’t legitimate immediately.

“That was one of the tipoffs, and I can’t tell you, but the chemistry wasn’t right,” he said.

The sheriff’s office never calls residents asking for payments.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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