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Lou Gieszl
Terri Charles
410-260-1488
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
2001-E/F Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
410-260-1488

For Immediate Release


Maryland Judiciary Warns of New Jury Duty Scam

(ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 26, 2015) -- The Maryland Judiciary wants to warn the public about a new, more sophisticated scam that has been reported in southern Maryland, but also may be happening elsewhere throughout the state.

In the most recent telephone scam, the caller claims to work for the court and is calling about failing to appear for jury duty. People who have been called say the caller is persuasive and convincing. The caller asks for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information and attempts to persuade the individual targeted to use a PayPal account to pay a “fine.” The caller uses the names of real court officials, including judges and clerks of court, and provides a bogus email address and phone number with real or real-sounding names. The number is not an official government telephone number, but callers to that number get a recording that claims they have reached the warrant division of the Sheriff’s Department.

These calls are scams. Courts do not call or email people to obtain payments or personal information. If you get such a call, hang up. Do not make any payments by PayPal or share any personal information. If you have received a call about jury duty, contact the Circuit Court in your jurisdiction. The Clerk’s Office in Charles County, where several reports of this scam have occurred, is working with local law enforcement. Contact information for courts is available on the Maryland Judiciary website’s courts directory.

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In addition to this most recent scam, you should be aware of other ongoing tricks that use court cases or jury duty to get personal information or payments by phone. They include:

Email “court case” virus
Beware of bogus emails claiming to be about a court case. Opening an attachment or clicking on a link triggers a malicious program that infects the recipient’s computer. The email is not from the courts nor is it about a court case. If you receive an email with a subject line such as “Hearing of your case in Court” or “Notice to Appear in Court”:
--Do not open the email or any attachments, don’t click on any links or unsubscribe. Doing so may install the malware/virus onto your computer.
--Delete the email.

Juror email scam (federal courts)
A juror scam email, which fraudulently seeks personal information that could aid identity theft, has been reported in at least 14 federal court districts. The email is fake and has no connection to either the federal courts or to eJuror, an online registration program used in about 80 U.S. court districts.

U.S. District Court officials urge anyone who suspects a fraudulent email or call regarding the federal district court to contact the clerk's office at their nearest federal district court. People who have responded to a fraudulent call or email should take appropriate steps to safeguard their personal and financial information, which may include contacting the major credit bureaus.

More information about juror scams is available on the U.S. Courts web page. Contact information for federal courts can be found through the U.S. Courts’ court locator.

 

Guard Yourself: More Information
--How to protect yourself from email scams and malware threats:
Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams
United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), Department of Homeland Security
--How to recognize, report, and prevent becoming a victim of telephone scams:
Federal Trade Commission website

 


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