By Taylor Short

Killeen Daily Herald

As reports of an old scam resurface, Coryell County officials are telling residents how to avoid identity theft from telephone swindlers.

Sheriff Johnny Burks described a scenario in which residents answer the phone and people identify themselves as an officer or district court official. The callers say that an arrest warrant might be issued if they fail to report for jury duty.

Then they ask for birth dates, credit card information or Social Security numbers.

"This is when you should immediately hang up the phone. It's a scam," Burks said in a press release.

Coryell County District Clerk Janice Gray said while employees from her office might ask for a name or date of birth, they will never make phone calls. Instead, they send official mail.

If someone does not reply to a jury summons, a second letter will be mailed requesting contact by phone, Gray said.

"We may reschedule them, but if we don't hear from them, we may do a show-cause," she said.

People might be asked to attend a show-cause hearing during which a judge would determine whether they should be fined between $100 and $500 for failing to respond to a jury summons.

No instances of this scam have been reported in Coryell County. Burks said anyone called in this manner should contact local law enforcement officials.

Contact Taylor Short at or (254) 501-7476. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcove.

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