Jury Duty Scammers Target Kentuckians
The FBI Louisville Division is warning the public about a telephone scam claiming you have failed to report to jury duty. During the call, the scammer impersonates a law enforcement officer or officer of the court. The caller claims you failed to report for jury duty and may threaten criminal prosecution or jail time. 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 prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card or gift card, for payment.
The scammer may provide information like titles and badge numbers of legitimate law enforcement officers or court officials, names of federal judges, and courtroom addresses 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.
If someone receives such a call or e-mail, they should not provide any personal information, credit card numbers, prepaid cards, or money. Federal courts do not call prospective jurors and ask for money or personal identifying information over the telephone. If someone summoned for jury duty fails to appear, that person will receive correspondence by U.S. Mail, not by phone or email.
Here are some tips to avoid becoming the victim of this type of phone scam:
- Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.
- Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact.
- Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller pressures you, or says things that don’t sound right, hang up.
- If concerns remain about the caller’s claims, verify the information with the appropriate law enforcement agency or court officials.
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 FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.