SCAM ALERT: FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR JURY SERVICE OR RESPOND TO A SUMMONS

Friday, July 29, 2016

Residents of the Northern District of Georgia continue to receive fraudulent phone calls and emails claiming that the victim failed to appear for federal jury duty and/or to respond to a federal court summons.  The scammer tells the victim that he or she can avoid arrest by paying a fine immediately and may request payment information or other personal information.  The scammer also may request that the victim purchase a pre-paid card, such as a Green Dot card or gift card, and deliver it to the scammer.

The scammer may provide information like titles and badge numbers of legitimate law enforcement officers or court officials, names of federal judges, and courtroom addresses in an attempt to make the scam appear credible.  Scammers may even “spoof” the phone number so that it appears to be from the Court or a government agency when it is not.

These phone calls and emails are not from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia or the U.S. Marshals Service.  If a person receives such a call or email, they should not provide any personal information, credit card numbers, pre-paid cards, or money.  Neither the federal courts nor the U.S. Marshals call prospective jurors and ask for money or personal identifying information over the telephone.  If someone who actually has been summoned for jury duty fails to appear, that person will receive correspondence by U.S. Mail, not by phone or email.

Anyone receiving a jury duty / failure to appear scam phone call should report it, with a description of the caller and any available caller ID information, to their local U.S. Marshals (404-331-6833 for Atlanta) or FBI office.

If you believe you may be a victim of the jury duty scam, identity theft, or other scheme, you can also file a complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.