The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office has received several calls from residents that have received phone calls claiming that the victim failed to appear for jury duty and/or to respond to a 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 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 are not from the Cumberland County courts or the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. If a person receives such a call, they should not provide any personal information, credit card numbers, pre-paid cards, or money.
Neither the courts nor the sheriff’s office 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 the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 484-6176.
Persons believing they may be a victim of the jury duty scam, identity theft or other schemes can also file a complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.