New Year, Old Juror Scam
It’s a new year, but the same old juror scams.
Members of the public in Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland and other states have been contacted by scammers asking them to follow links and provide personal information in online jury duty questionnaires—or face federal fines or jail time.
One Maryland juror phone scam threatens arrest unless the person purchases a debit card and pays $500. Email phishing scams in Kansas and Georgia even use the name of the Judiciary’s e-Juror program to convince targeted people the scam is legitimate.
There are several warning signs these are scams.
- As the Maryland U.S. District Court notes, no court nor any law enforcement agency will ever call to request payment of a fine for failure to appear for jury duty. Any fines for failure to appear for jury duty would be imposed by a judge in a court session, with the summoned juror in attendance.
- Members of the public are not contacted initially by email or phone for jury service. Perspective jurors first receive an official court mailing— never a phone call or email— which may direct them to an online questionnaire.
- Social security numbers never are requested in juror qualification questionnaires.
The Maryland District Court urges anyone contacted by suspected scammers not to make any payments and immediately contact the local United States Marshals Service office. The Southern District of Indiana, Kansas District Court and the Northern District of Georgia have similar warnings posted on their respective websites with directions that affected individuals contact the clerk of court with any questions or concerns.
Members of the public who have received a juror notice requesting money or personal information, or threatening fines or jail time and who suspect a scam also may contact the clerk of court’s office at their local federal court. Use the court locator for contact information.