A jury duty scam is a recent type of scam that involves a phone call from the scammer to an unsuspecting victim. Here, the scammer will try to convince the victim that they have missed or failed to report to jury duty. Posing as a court official, the scammer then asks for the person’s personal information, such as their Social Security number, credit card information, or bank account information.
The end aim of this type of scam is identity theft of the victim in order to use their information for financial gain or for theft. In some cases, the person may be instructed to wire money directly to the scammer.
This type of scam has the potential to work because the victim may be afraid of the consequences for having missed jury duty. The scammer may threaten jail time, fines, or other consequences for failing to comply. Also, they may truly believe that the person on the other end of the phone line is in fact a court official.
How can Jury Duty Scams be Prevented?
The main way to prevent jury duty scams is to not divulge your private information over the phone. Although there may be penalties if you miss jury duty or fail to report for jury duty, you generally won’t be required to provide sensitive information over the phone. Most correspondences between the court and jurors will occur through the mail with official court documents. Also, court officials will never use threats or coercion to obtain information from you. Thus, if the person on the phone seems pushy or is using threats to obtain your information, that’s a sign of a potential scam.
As with most scams, one of the difficulties in preventing a jury duty scam is locating the party that is responsible. In some cases, the scammers could be originating from out of state or even out of the country. However, if you report these types of scams to law enforcement authorities soon after it happens, there is a good chance that they can be able to trace and locate the person(s) responsible for the fraud. It will also be very helpful if you report such activity to the court in your area.
Are There any Legal Penalties for Jury Duty Scams?
Anyone caught participating in a juror scam or jury duty scam may face heavy legal consequences. They will likely face criminal charges, which can lead to jail time and/or criminal fines. Impersonating a federal official or a court official is also an offense and can lead to further criminal consequences.
Lastly, the scammer may also be liable for civil charges for the losses caused to the victim or victims.
Should I Hire a Lawyer if I Need Assistance with Jury Duty Scam Issues?
Jury duty scams can cost victims thousands of dollars and can also lead to serious legal penalties for the perpetrators. It may be in your best interests to hire a criminal defense lawyer in your area if you have any claims or issues regarding a jury duty scam. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and research to help determine your rights. Also, if you need to file a lawsuit or appear in court, your lawyer can provide you with representation during those times.