Public warned of nationwide jury duty scam

Chief U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson and U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler on Tuesday warned the public of a nationwide jury duty scam in which the callers pose as U.S. Marshals or other government officials.

The scammers claim that the victim is about to be arrested for not appearing for jury duty, but can avoid arrest by paying a fine, according to a news release.

The scammers often provide information, including the real names of federal judges or court employees, the location of the courthouse, and case and badge numbers. The caller then tells the victims they can avoid arrest by paying an immediate fine and walks them through purchasing a prepaid debit or gift card or making an electronic payment to satisfy the “fine.”

Residents who believe they have been the victim of such a scam are encouraged to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and the U. S. Marshals Service at 1-317-226-6566.

Here’s what to do if you are contacted by someone you believe might be a scammer:

*A court will never ask for a credit/debit card number, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers over the phone for any purpose.

*A prospective juror who disregards a summons will be contacted by the District Court Clerk’s Office by mail and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear before a judge.

*A fine will never be imposed until after an individual has appeared in court and been given the opportunity to explain a failure to appear.

*Do not divulge personal information or financial information to unknown callers.

*You can remain anonymous when you report an incident to the District Court Clerk’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, or Federal Trade Commission.

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