Fake Jury Duty Phone Scam Targeting Indiana Residents
Indiana court officials are cautioning residents about a new scam circulating around the state involving phony jury duty phone calls.
The state issued a warning on Friday urging Hoosiers to be leery of fraudulent phone calls involving claims of missed jury duty. Although, there have not been many reports of these types of swindle tactics being used, several trial courts have been made aware of occurrences and since passed that information along to authorities.
“There have only been a few incidents, but court leaders are alerting the public in the abundance of caution,” Kathryn Dolan, public information officer of the Indiana Supreme Court said in a statement regarding the issue.
The con is as follows: the caller contacts an unsuspecting individual and misinforms them about missing jury duty. The caller then offers to remedy the offense by allowing the individual to pay a fine over the phone… to get their financial information.
Dolan says that Indiana courts never collect fines over the phone… not even for missed jury duty. “Courts never ask for specific bank account numbers, credit card information or personal identification numbers and never call jurors and pressure them to reveal personal information, especially financial information,” she said.
Officials say initial contact with a potential juror in Indiana is always made by mail. “If a person fails to appear for jury duty, the judge can send the sheriff to compel the individual to attend jury selection,” said Dolan. “A judge can hold an individual in contempt and require the individual to pay a fine for failure to appear. However, none of these actions take place over the phone.”
Dolan adds that any callers requesting money on behalf Indiana jury service should be reported to the police.