WARNING: Jury Scam
Thursday, January 8, 2015
In various parts of the United States, including the Western District of Kentucky, citizens are being targeted by phone calls and emails, threatening them with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts. In some instances, recipients of the calls and emails are being asked to wire money to avoid arrest. In other cases, individuals are pressured to provide confidential data, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud. These calls and emails, which threaten recipients with fines and jail time if they do not comply, are fraudulent and are not connected with the U.S. courts.
Federal courts do not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call or email nor will courts request immediate payment of money by way of a phone call. Most contact between a federal court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. mail, and any phone contact by real court officials will not include requests for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information.
Jury duty is a vital civic responsibility and should be taken seriously by all citizens. However, it is a crime for anyone to falsely represent himself or herself as a federal court official. The federal judiciary takes seriously such an offense.
If you believe that you have been a victum of fraud or have received a scam phone call, phishing e-mail, or fax, contact your local police or sherriff's department and the Federal Trade Commission. If you have any concerns about a communication that purports to be from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, contact us at 502-625-3561.