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District courts warn of new juror scam

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Once again, the federal courts are warning of a juror scam designed to trick unsuspecting people into giving their personal information.

At least 14 federal District courts have received reports of local residents receiving an email notifying them of their selection for jury duty and demanding 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.

Moreover, the email warned that anyone who failed to provide the information would have to explain the failure to the court and could be penalized with fines and jail time. The email falsely claimed that it was affiliated with eJuror, an online registration program used in about 80 U.S. court districts.

The email is fraudulent. Anyone receiving an email like this should contact their local federal court.

Such scams are not new. The federal courts have been used in these types of cons since 2004, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released three warnings since 2005.

“The criminals are trying to cloak themselves in the authority of the court to try to squeeze valuable information out of people,” said a spokesman for the U.S. Courts. “People have to be on alert.”

Within the last month, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has received reports from two people who received phone calls telling them they had missed federal jury selection and asking them for their financial information, according to Laura Briggs, court clerk.  

Also, six months ago, the Southern District got a report that someone had received an arrest warrant on what looked like letterhead from the federal courts. The document asked for personal information and provided a phone number the recipient could call to settle the debt.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana has not gotten any reports of suspicious emails or arrest warrants from local residents, said Kurt Koch, manager for the Hammond and Lafayette divisions.  

The federal courts reiterated that eJuror never requests 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. These letters would then tell jury participants how to access an authenticated, secure online connection.


 

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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