Police warn of jury duty scam in various states

August 26, 2005

Hagerstown Police issued a warning Thursday about a new scam that has showed up in several states.

Police said someone calls pretending to work for a local court, saying the person getting the call has failed to report for jury duty and a warrant was issued for the person's arrest.

The victim says he or she never received a jury duty notice.

The caller then asks for personal information - such as Social Security number, date of birth and credit card number - for "verification" purposes.

Sgt. Paul Kifer of the Hagerstown Police Department, who issued the alert, wrote that it's easy to see why the scam works.


"The victim is clearly off guard and is understandably upset at the prospect of a warrant being issued for his or her arrest.

So, the victim is much less likely to be vigilant about protecting their confidential information," he wrote.

Kifer said court workers don't call to ask for that information and usually send jury duty notices by mail.

The scam hasn't reached Maryland, but has been reported in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington state, Kifer wrote.

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