This week a local consumer reported receiving a message that he had missed two federal jury duty dates and was being charged on two misdemeanor accounts. This 'federal prosecutor' told the consumer he would have to pay fine of $3000.00 for each count.
The consumer was instructed to stay on the line and travel to 101 Holmes Ave. (Federal Court House) to a kiosk in the lobby to pay this fine.
The BBB called the Federal Court House to investigate this scam further. The operator reported that they were aware of this scam and said the US Marshall's Office was handling the investigation.
According to the U.S. Marshals Office, the scammers ask the victim to stay on the phone because they will instruct a victim to stop and get a money card instead. Telling the victim to go to the courthouse is simply an attempt to make the scam sound legitimate.
If you ever receive a call like this, here are a few tips to help you avoid this scam:
- Best practice: Hang up!
- Notification of a fine or penalty will be sent by mail. You will not receive a phone call.
- You will never be asked to pay a fine via money card.
- As a rule, jurors are not summoned via text message or phone. If you ever question whether you need to appear for jury duty, call your local court system to check.
- Do not provide credit card or social security numbers to anyone claiming to represent the court system over the phone.