Follow These Tips to Avoid Jury Service Scams

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As Texas celebrates Jury Appreciation Week the first week in May, the State Bar of Texas Jury Service Committee wants to educate the public on how to avoid jury duty scams.

Across the state, citizens are being targeted by phone calls and emails, threatening them with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts. These calls and emails are fraudulent and not connected with U.S. or Texas state courts.

During a typical scam call, residents are told that a warrant is issued for their arrest because of failure to appear for jury duty. The caller will then ask the victim to “verify” personal information, such as their date of birth and Social Security number. In some cases, scammers have gone as far as asking the victim to pay a fine over the phone to avoid arrest. Victims are being pressured to provide a credit card number or other payment information.

To help protect Texas residents, the State Bar of Texas Jury Service Committee compiled a list of tips from federal and state courts, the Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Reports:

  • Courts will not call you about jury duty. Legitimate jury notices will come by mail, even if you missed your assigned time to report to jury duty.
  • Courts will not ask you for personal information over the phone or require you to provide sensitive information such as Social Security or credit card numbers by phone or email.
  • Scammers can mask their identity. Be aware that criminals may use software to disguise their phone numbers and make it appear that their calls are originating from your local courthouse or police department.
  • Courts will not call you asking for money. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a court official asking for money for missing jury duty, hang up and report the scam to your local police department.