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Jury Duty Scams

HOW THE SCAM WORKS:

The caller will:

  • claim to be a member of the local police, the sheriff's department, or the U.S. Marshals Service.
  • claim you have failed to appear for mandated jury duty (or a court-summoned order to appear as a defendant).
  • claim you are in contempt or have a federal warrant out for your arrest.
  • claim that to avoid arrest, you can pay a fine (typically requested in the form of a prepaid debit or gift card).
  • ask you to confirm your identity by soliciting personal information, including your name, birth date, Social Security number, and other theft-worthy information.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT:

  • HANG UP without providing any information about yourself — and certainly don’t run off to purchase a money order, debit card, or gift card.

REMEMBER:

  • Authentic jury duty notifications, as well as “no show” summonses, are nearly always delivered by mail. In rare instances prospective jurors may be telephoned by legitimate courthouse employees, but only after a jury duty summons was mailed but returned to sender because it couldn’t be delivered — and you won’t be asked for personal information such as your Social Security number, birth date or driver’s license number.
  • Legitimate police officials never give a head’s-up phone call warning of an impending arrest, about missing jury duty or any other infraction.
  • These fake phone calls often come in the evening, after the courthouse has closed and its employees have left. Gleaning targets’ names and addresses from phone directories or other public records, scammers often call after usual working hours because they know they have a better chance of reaching their intended victims.
  • Caller ID can be manipulated to display the name and phone number of any agency or business, so don’t be fooled. If you have concerns, look up the courthouse phone number (don’t rely on caller-provided numbers) and verify missed jury allegations with the jury duty coordinator or court clerk’s office.

 

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