Scam callers threaten Valley residents with ‘jury service fines’
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be collecting “jury service fines,” hang up — it’s a scam. The Superior Court in Maricopa County recently learned of calls involving scammers threatening Valley residents with arrest and possible jail time if they don’t pay the fake fees for supposedly skipping jury service.
“The scam is sophisticated, but the public must know that the Court does not fine people by phone for not appearing for jury duty,” Jury Administrator Matthew Martin explained. “The court issues failure to appear notices and potential jurors are asked to reschedule jury service for a later date.”
It might be sophisticated in some ways, but the big red flag is how the scammers demand payment: with prepaid debit or gift cards. They’ll tell you to buy cards, scratch off the back to reveal the account numbers and to read that info over the phone. Once scammers drain the funds, they’ll have you mail the now-empty cards to the real Superior Court. That’s how court officials learned of the scam
“The Jury Office started receiving envelopes in the mail with prepaid cards from community members as proof they had paid their fines by phone,” Martin said. The court was sent 13 cards valued at about $6,300.
If you get a call about missing jury service or others where similar payment demands are made, court officials say to write down the phone number and call your local police department. Don’t pay them, or give any personal information.
Verify if you really do have jury service by calling (602) 506-5879. You can also respond to an official jury summons here.
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