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Getting Calls to Pay Penalties for Failing to Fulfil Jury Duty? It's Probably a Scam

Multiple sheriff's offices in U.S. are warning the public of fake jury duty call.
Image Source: Photo by Sora Shimazaki | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Sora Shimazaki | Pexels

Not only in the online space, but scammers are also getting more creative in their tactics when it comes to fraudulent schemes pulled off via phone calls. One of the most commonly used ploys for telephone scams in recent times is calling people and threatening that they'll be fined for failure to appear in court for the work of the council. The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office revealed that they receive many complaints about so-called impersonators, people saying they should be fined for missing jury duty. "I don't even have a landline, just a cell phone, so maybe that's why I didn't get any calls," Jens-O'Hearn pointed out. "Fortunately, most of my neighbors are pretty smart, so I hope they don't fall for it."

Image Source: Photo by RDNE Stock project | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by RDNE Stock project | Pexels

Insights from the sheriff's office

The Sheriff’s Office assured FOX6 News that it never charges penalties from people for failing jury duty, and does not accept fines or warrants over the phone. Ozaukee County Clerk of Court Connie Mueller explained what happens when people drop out of jury duty.

"We'll just give them a call to check where they are and if they can still make it for the trial on time," Mueller explained. "If they don't pick up, we'll just reschedule them for another week to come in for jury duty." Authorities are urging everyone to hang up right away if they receive such a call and report it to the sheriff's office.

With the rise in Jury Duty scams one such incident also took place in The Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The Fraudsters posed as law enforcement officials and demanded payment from victims to keep their licenses.MCSO spokesperson Adam Linhardt stated that the number of calls from victims reporting these frauds has been increasing. Their sincere goal is to raise awareness and prevent more people from falling for the scam. These con artists use a convincing tone and they may even have personal information on an individual, such as their residential address, date of birth, or even specifics about judges and courts.

“Be careful if you get any mail, email, text, or call from someone claiming to be a cop, especially if they're asking for money or gift cards. That's a big red flag for a scam,” Linhardt warned. He also mentioned keeping an eye out for online banking scams involving apps like CashApp, PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle.

Image Source: Photo by RDNE Stock project | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by RDNE Stock project | Pexels

Instructions from the FBI

Taking notice of the rise in fake jury duty calls to try and extract money the FBI's Atlanta division issued a notice to the citizens of Georgia warning them and urging them to stay alert. The FBI notice mentioned how real courts don't call people to demand money or private information. They communicate only through mail. Avoiding unexpected calls, not disclosing personal information to strangers, and, if in doubt, double-checking information with authorities are some preventative measures against becoming a victim.

FBI has requested those affected to file a complaint on Crime Complaint Center (IC3) with all the information one might have about any fraudulent calls.