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Courts warn residents not to fall for jury scam

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 5:59 pm

Local courts do not issue warrants for prospective jurors, and it doesn’t use warrants to lever four-figure sums of cash from residents.

The trouble is, a scam apparently being pitched here strives to convince residents that in fact warrants for their arrests for failure to appear for jury duty have been issued, and that those warrants can be “recalled” if the citizen will pay a sum of money, ranging from $3,000 to $4,200.

"These phone call solicitations are a scam and do not originate with the Allen Superior Court or the Allen Circuit Court. The Court does not issue warrants to potential jurors and never solicits money for failure to appear,” said Court Executive Jerry Noble in a release warning people of the scheme. “We are warning all Allen County residents not to respond to such calls." Noble said.

Indiana courts never ask potential jurors (or those who missed jury duty) for money. Courts never ask for specific bank-account numbers, credit card information or Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and never call jurors and pressure them to reveal personal information – especially financial information.

In Indiana, all initial contact with potential jurors is conducted in writing through the mail. A written jury summons and/or questionnaire may ask for information such as name, age, occupation, marital status, prior jury service or whether the person understands the English language.

If a person fails to appear for jury duty the judge can send the sheriff to compel the individual to attend jury selection. A judge can hold an individual in contempt and require the individual to pay a fine for failure to appear. However, none of these actions takes place over the phone.

People who receive what appears to be a fake jury duty phone call should alert police.

Questions about jury duty may be directed to the Jury Management Office in the Allen Superior Court at 449-7520 or 449-7022.