PHILADELPHIA, PA – A concerning and persistent scam involving jury duty is plaguing victims across the nation. Individuals have reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be law enforcement officials, alleging that they failed to report for jury duty and demanding immediate payment or face potential jail time.
Recently, a viewer reached out to News 8 On Your Side, recounting a similar experience. They received a call from someone purportedly from the Pennsylvania sheriff’s department, questioning their absence from a federal grand jury summons. The caller attempted to convince the viewer that paying fines was the solution to avoid trouble. However, the viewer recognized the scam and ended the call.
The U.S. Justice Department has labeled this scam as a growing nationwide issue. Scammers posing as U.S. Marshals or government employees utilize this ruse to collect fraudulent fines over the phone from individuals who allegedly failed to appear for jury duty.
To protect oneself from falling victim to this scam, it is essential to remember several key factors. The court always sends a jury summons via U.S. mail, never demanding payment over the phone for any reason. If a person neglects a summons, they should expect to receive a written notification by mail and potentially be required to appear before a judge. It is crucial to note that fines are never imposed until after an individual has appeared in court, and when they are, they are done so openly in court and not through gift card payments, as requested by scammers.
In conclusion, the jury duty scam continues to pose a threat to unsuspecting individuals. The scam involves callers posing as law enforcement officials and attempting to extort money from individuals who allegedly skipped jury duty. To stay safe, it is essential to remember that legitimate jury summons are always sent via U.S. mail, and genuine courts do not demand phone payments. Being vigilant and aware of these red flags can help individuals avoid falling victim to this scam.