(St. James, MN) – A Watonwan County resident was recently bilked out of thousands of dollars after falling prey to a phone scam.

The victim answered a phone call from a number that displayed as the Watonwan County Sheriff’s office Com Center, according to a Facebook post by the sheriff’s office.  The caller said the victim had failed to show up for jury duty and must pay a $2,000 fine in “Green Dot” cards to avoid jail time.  Green Dot cards are prepaid Master and Visa cards that function much like a standard debit card.

The sheriff’s office reminds residents that the courts or law enforcement will never demand payment over the phone, and bank account or credit card numbers should never be shared.