In this phone scam, the caller claims to work for the County Sheriff’s Office, or states they are a Sergeant, or court staff, and tells the person they did not report for jury duty and has a bench warrant for their arrest. The scammer’s phone number may show as legitimate because the caller has manipulated the phone number to appear to be from the Sheriff’s or court’s main phone line.
The caller demands payment over the phone through a Cash App or Zelle®. The caller may ask the person to go to the Sheriff’s Office and turn themselves in after they go to a grocery store, Walmart, or CVS to purchase a “money pack” – a type of prepaid credit card and to call a specific phone number and read off the number on the money pack card for the payment to be made and the fine to be settled.
This phone call is a scam, hang up. Do not provide any information. Maryland Courts, Sheriff’s Offices, and Jury Offices do not call citizens to get payment over the phone for a fine for missing jury duty and they do not take payments through a machine for missing jury duty.
Trial by jury is a foundation of our system of justice and is one of the reasons the U.S. justice system is the finest in the world. While trial by jury is a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Maryland Declaration of Rights, serving on a jury is both a responsibility of being a citizen and an opportunity to serve your community. No special training, skills, or legal knowledge is necessary to be a juror. All that is required is that you be willing to keep an open mind, pay attention, and make a decision based on the law and evidence that is presented. On behalf of the Maryland Judiciary, thank you for your jury service.