HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A recent jury duty phone scam is effective because it’s believable. The FBI’s Houston office is now taking a closer look and Harris County’s District Clerk Chris Daniel has his own warning.

“It’s threatening they have your personal information they’ve either bought from some list or they’ve stolen from stealing your identity,” Daniel said.

With that ill-gotten personal information, the first thing these scammers do is call you wondering why did you just miss jury duty, even if you haven’t.

“Folks are holding themselves out to be police officers, officers of the court or working for me and demanding payment because you have missed jury duty,” Daniel said.

If you don’t pay the fine immediately over the phone with a prepaid debit card, the scammers want you to go out and get the money while you stay on the line. You most certainly risk more trouble down the road, they promise.

It’s believable because they know who you are, and are repeating back to you information about yourself.

The phone scam has collected handfuls of recent victims in Houston.

“It is wrong that people are trying to scam victims using this fundamental Constitutional duty,” Daniel said.

The district clerk says his office will never ask for payment of fines by telephone, which pretty much goes for all law enforcement. Keep that in mind and you will avoid becoming a victim.