How it works  

Most jury service scams start with a phone call where the caller identifies him or herself as an officer of the court, local police department, or representative from your district attorney’s office.  He or she says you have failed to report for jury duty (or committed another crime like credit card fraud) and a warrant has been issued for your arrest.  Most individuals instinctively reply they never received a notice which cues the caller to ask for personal identifying information, such as your birth date and social security number for “verification purposes”.  

After acquiring your personal identifying information, some scammers then proceed to tell you they can clear your record if you pay a fine. You may be asked to get a rechargeable or prepaid card worth a substantial amount of money, provide the scammer with the prepaid card account number and pin, and send it by certified mail to the local agency.  These scammers are able to fraudulently remove the money prior to the card reaching its destination, rendering the card useless and the scammer untraceable.

Red Flags 

  1. It’s important to remember that court officers, police officers, and other government representatives will never ask for confidential information over the phone.  Most contact with prospective jurors will be through the U.S. mail.
  2. Law Enforcement, the IRS, or any government agency will NEVER pressure you and demand payment. If you have a warrant out for your arrest, typically law enforcement will just come and arrest you. 
  3. Scammers usually ask victims to go purchase a prepaid or gift card to pay their “fine.”  No government agency accepts payment via gift card or prepaid card.

What to Do

Hang up! Call the law enforcement or government agency who the scammer pretended to be to verify the information. Use a phone number you looked up, not the one the scammer gave you. Scammers can "spoof" a real phone number, making it seem like the real agency is calling you.

To check your jury service click here.