Recognize, Refuse, Report! Jury duty scams are one of the most common and tricky variations of imposter scams out there. Typically these scams begin with a phone call where the scammer identifies themselves as an officer of the court or from the local sheriff’s department. The scammer then claims you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest.
Having never received a jury summons, you are confused and shocked as to how you could possibly be in trouble. At that point the scammer might ask you for personal information, such as your Social Security number, to verify your identity. Additionally, the scammer might ask you to pay a fine via wire transfer, pre-paid gift card or credit card to avoid arrest.
It is important to remember that real U.S. court officials and law enforcement offices will not call you and ask for personal information, request money to pay a fine, nor will they threaten you with immediate arrest. Courts typically follow up with prospective and no-show jurors by mail. If you have any doubt about the correspondence you received from your county courthouse, independently research their phone number and call to verify it came from them.
If you have any questions about jury duty scams or other imposter scams, call the ElderWatch helpline at 1-800-222-4444, option 2, to speak with an AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter volunteer, who can help you navigate the issue.