Scam of the day – January 26, 2016 – Jury duty scam with a twist

I have been warning you about the jury duty scam for more than three years.  The scam involves a telephone call that you receive purportedly from a law enforcement officer informing you that you have failed to appear for jury duty and that a warrant has been issued for your arrest.  You are told, however, that you can avoid arrest and greater fines by paying a fine through a credit card or or prepaid cash card.  Of course, the phone call is a scam, even if you have missed jury duty, you will never be called by legitimate court officers and shaken down for a payment.

Now, however in a new twist on this old scam, federal prosecutors in Georgia have indicted 51 people who, it is alleged were operating jury duty scams from inside the Autry State Prison where the prosecutors say prison inmates made the calls on cellphones smuggled into the prison by guards and other prison officials who were a part of the scam.

TIPS

Initial contacts from the courts regarding jury duty are always in writing through the mail although some systems will permit you to receive future notices through email.  Under no circumstances will you receive telephone calls or text messages indicating that you have failed to report for jury duty.  No court will demand payment over the phone for failing to appear for jury duty.  If you do receive such a call and you think that there is even the possibility that you might have forgotten to report for jury duty, merely call the local clerk of courts where you can find accurate information.