By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  The FBI is issuing a warning about a phone scam that suggests potential victims have run afoul of the law, and only an immediate cash payment will fix it.

The caller pretends to be a law enforcement or court official, according to Assistant Special Agent in Charge Christian Zajac.

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“They accuse the call recipient of failing to appear for federal or local jury duty, and they warn that an arrest warrant has been issued for them,” Zajac told KYW Newsradio.

And to get around that, “according to the scam, they said you need to do two things. You’ve got to pay a fine and you’ve got to report to the courthouse.”

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If you fall for it, you learn probably at the courthouse you’ve been taken for your time, because you were never summoned, and your money, because the pre-paid debit card you provided the scammer is now cashed in.

Bottom line, if you get such a call, just hang up, but then let real law enforcement know about it, either through a phone call of your own to the FBI or another law enforcement agency. Victims can also report the crime to the feds on line at

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Zajac says the scam is mostly hitting New Jersey, but is likely to spread.