The Federal Trade Commission has hundreds of calls about a new scam in which people received calls from fake ‘court officials’ about jury duty. In the calls, scammers claimed to be court officers, accused people of skipping jury duty and said they had to pay a fine immediately or face arrest.
The scammers take several approaches at trying to separate you from your money. People reported that some scammers acted like ‘nice guys.’ They offered to ‘review the file’ or said ‘you have a clean record’ and could just ‘make things right’ by paying the fine with a reloadable card. Others took the ‘mean guy’ role. They berated people for ignoring their mail, claimed to be holding an arrest warrant, and told listeners ‘don’t you dare hang up until you buy that reloadable card and read me the code.’ A few extra-greedy scammers told people the first reloadable card ‘didn’t go through’ and demanded a second payment.
The National Center for State Courts says court officers will never call or email you and require payment for failing to appear for jury duty. If you get a summons for jury duty and don’t go, you might get a letter telling you to come to court on certain date to explain why you missed jury duty. If someone asks you to pay a fine for missing jury duty, hang up and call your local court or law enforcement department.
To learn more about this and other scams, go to the web site for the Federal Trade Commission.
* The information contained in this Blog is intended for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion of counsel.