McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara is warning local residents after two people reported receiving bogus phone calls from a man posing as a deputy, claiming the residents missed jury duty for a murder trial last week and owed a fine.

"This is nothing but a low-life who is out there trying to beat good, honest people out of their money," McNamara said. "Do not fall for any scam like this."

The McLennan County District Clerk's office reported that two residents contacted the office Tuesday, saying a deputy named Stephen Trout called and advised them that they listed a jury trial last week. The deputy said that the residents could pay a fine for missing the court date and left a number for the residents to call back.

"We will never contact anyone on the phone and tell them to send in money," McNamara said. "We want the public to be aware of this, and our deputies never act in this manner."

McNamara said there is no deputy named Stephen Trout working for the sheriff's office. Officials with the district clerk's office said phone calls are never made from the office in reference to jury duty or any other public service.

Investigators are attempting to identify the caller or callers. McNamara said similar scams have been conducted in the past with authorities tracking one caller to a prison inmate in Georgia, but advised residents to contact the sheriff's office if they are unsure about a caller and to never give personal banking information over the phone.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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