WARNING: US Marshals Warn of Jury Duty Phone Scam
(Updated March 7, 2016)
The U.S. Marshals Service is warning the public of a nationwide telephone scam involving individuals claiming to be U.S. marshals, court officers or law enforcement officials seeking to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty.
The U.S. Marshals Service said it does not call anyone to arrange payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty or any other infraction.
In order to appear more credible, the scammers may even provide information like badge numbers and the names of actual federal judges and courthouse addresses.
Victims have been told they can avoid arrest by paying a fine using a reloadable credit card, and were urged to call a number and provide their own credit card number to initiate the process.
The Marshals Service urges the public not to divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers, even if they sound legitimate.
If you believe you were a victim of the jury duty scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to your local law enforcement department, or local U.S. Marshals or FBI office.
WARNING: Bogus Phone Calls on Jury Service May Lead to Fraud
(Updated January 16, 2015)
In various parts of the United States, citizens are being targeted by phone calls and threatened with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts.
In the calls, the threat of a fine for shirking jury service is used to coerce tose called into providing confidential data, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud. These calls are not from real court officials.
Federal courts do not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call. Most contact between a federal court and a prospective juror will be thorugh the U.S. Mail, and any phone contact by real court officials will not include requests for social security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information.
Jury is a vital civic responsibility and should be taken seriously by all citizens. However, it is a crime for anyone to falsely represent himself or herself as a federal court official. The federal judiciary takes seriously such an offense.
Persons receiving such a telephone call should not provide the requested information, and should notify the Clerk of Court's office of the U.S. District Court in their area.
WARNING: New Juror E-Mail Scam Seeks Personal Data
(Updated January 16, 2015)
A juror scam email, which fraudulently seeks personal information that could aid identity theft, has been reported in at least 14 federal court districts.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, citizens received emails claiming they had been selected for jury service and demanding that they return a form with such information as Social Security and driver's license numbers, date of birth, cell phone number, and mother's maiden name.
According to the email, anyone who failed to provide the information would be ordered to court to explain their failure, and could face fines and jail time. The email also falsely claimed that it was affiliated with eJuror, an online registration program used in about 80 U.S. court districts.
The email is fraudulent and has no connection to either the federal courts or to eJuror.
The Administrative Office noted that eJuror never requests that personal identification information be sent directly in an email response. Requests by courts to complete a qualification questionnaire would be initiated by formal written correspondence. Such letters tell jury participants how to access an authenticated, secure online connection. It is a federal crime to falsely represent oneself as a federal court employee.
U.S. District Court officials were urged to post warnings about the scam on their public websites, and anyone suspecting a fraudulent email or call should contact the clerk's office at their nearest district court. Anyone who responded to the email should take appropriate steps to safeguard their personal and financial information, which may include contacting the major credit bureaus.