Scam of the day – March 9, 2017 – New variation of the jury duty scam

The jury duty scam is a scam that has been used effectively for years by scammers to con people out of their money.  The scam starts with 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, the City of Emmett, Idaho is warning people about a scammer who, when he was initially unsuccessful in persuading his intended victims to make a payment to him under the threat of arrest, called the local sheriff’s office posing as his intended victim and threatening to shoot any law enforcement officer who came to his home.  Ordinarily, this might have prompted a visit from the sheriff’s office which could have been used to scare the victims into making the demanded payment.  Fortunately, the sheriff’s office had already reported the scam to the sheriff’s office so that they knew when they got the call from the scammer that it was not a legitimate phone call.

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 in order to  get accurate information.