Jury duty is a vital civic responsibility and should be taken seriously by all citizens. However, there have been instances where citizens are being targeted by phone calls and threatened with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts to obtain personal information. PLEASE BE AWARE that the jury staff does not call citizens to demand payment of a fine or to request social security numbers, credit card information, bank information, or any other sensitive data. If you should receive such a telephone call, you should not disclose any personal or financial information or submit payment of any kind.
In a scam, the caller (or sender if sent by email or text) may identify themself as a representative of the court. They will tell the victim that he/she (or sometimes a family member) has failed to report for jury duty and that a bench warrant was issued for their arrest. The scammer advises the victim this could all be “just a misunderstanding” or some sort of clerical error that can be straightened out on the phone, but that the matter is urgent and should be taken care of right away. The scammer will request personal and/or financial information, such as date of birth, social security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and so forth, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud. The scammer asserts that the information is necessary to verify the claim and threatens that the failure to provide the information will result in an immediate execution of the arrest warrant.
Any person receiving such a telephone call or email:
- Should not provide confirmation of Social Security Numbers or bank/credit card information to the requester.
- Should record the requester’s phone number if Caller ID is available.
- Should note any details about the particular request.
- Should report the call/email to the local offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and/or the United States Marshal’s Office.