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Courts warn of fake jury duty calls seeking financial data

February 7, 2014

State courts are warning of phone scams in which callers allege a penalty for missing jury duty can be resolved by providing financial information to pay a fine.

“While practices vary, Indiana courts never ask potential jurors (or those who missed jury duty) for money,” a statement from state court administrators said Friday. “Courts never ask for specific bank account numbers, credit card information or Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and never call jurors and pressure them to reveal personal information — especially financial information.”  

Court officials said judges in Hamilton and Henry counties were informed by residents that they had received calls in which they were told they missed jury service and could resolve the problem by appearing in court or providing financial information to pay a fine. Officials said they were unaware of anyone who had been financially harmed by the scam.

“In Indiana, all initial contact with potential jurors is conducted in writing through the mail,” the statement said. People who believe they may have received a scam call regarding jury duty should report the call to local police.

Indiana judges may send representatives of a county sheriff’s department to compel someone to attend jury selection, and people who fail to appear may be held in contempt and ordered to pay a fine. People with questions about jury duty should contact their local clerk’s office.

Federal courts also have been made aware of a jury duty phone scam and produced this video alerting the public.
 

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