Jury service ruse targets ID information
The phone rings, you pick it up. The caller says he is an officer of the court and that a warrant is out for your arrest because you failed to report for jury duty.
This scam has reached Davidson County, Sheriff David Grice said Thursday. Deputies are warning callers that telephone calls, text messages and emails about jury service are false.
Deputies say that callers and emailers attempt to obtain personal information from their intended victims, such as Social Security numbers, home addresses and other private information.
Valid jury summonses are sent by the courts through the U.S. mail. People summoned to jury duty by the sheriff’s office receive notice in writing via mail service at their home address. Deputies say authorities do not contact those who are being summoned by phone, text, email or any other electronic means.
The FBI reports that jury scams have been around for years, but there has been a resurgence in recent months as a simple variation of identity-theft ploys. In Michigan, residents have been told they can avoid jail for missing jury service if they call a number and pay a $500 bill by credit card.
Nationwide, most court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone, or by text messaging and emails. They generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail, according to the FBI.
Davidson County: Anyone who has been contacted falsely about jury service should call the sheriff’s office at (336) 242-2243.