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Caller impersonates Dakota County deputy in jury duty phone scam

HASTINGS, Minn. -- Someone impersonating a Dakota County sheriff’s deputy has been calling residents and threatening them with arrest if they don’t pay a fine, authorities said.

The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous reports of the phone scam, in which the caller informs the resident that he or she has failed to serve required jury duty and therefore, an arrest warrant would be issued unless the person pays a specific dollar amount.

The caller says that if the resident paid the fee, usually several hundred dollars in the form of a pre-paid card, the matter would be resolved.

The caller commonly uses the name Lt. John Martin, though other names also may be used.

The sheriff’s office and law enforcement in general never ask for money over the phone.

Anyone who receives such a call is asked to collect as much information as possible, including any telephone numbers or addresses the caller provides, and to call the investigation division of the sheriff’s office at (651) 438-4720.