Judicial Branch Warns About Bogus Jury Calls
Thursday, August 11, 2005
St. Paul, MN (August 9, 2005) –Minnesota residents are being targeted by phone calls that may sound legitimate enough to scare them into revealing confidential information, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud.
Over the past few weeks, courts in Anoka, Dakota and Hennepin counties have fielded calls from citizens who have been contacted by persons claiming to be with a court and threatening a warrant for “failing to comply with jury service.” This may be part of a scam reported in other parts of the country where the caller uses false threats about jury service to acquire personal and financial information, such as a social security number, credit card numbers, or employer information.
PLEASE BE AWARE: Courts do not call citizens for the purpose of seeking personal information. Minnesota courts always use the mail to send jury service summons, communicating by telephone only after a prospective juror has returned a completed summons information form.
Annually, jury offices across the state mail over 150,000 jury summons. The summons includes details about time and location to report for jury duty, and asks prospective jurors to return a qualification questionnaire. A phone number for the local jury office is also included for anyone wanting to contact the court about the summons.
It is a crime for an individual to falsely represent himself or herself as a court official. The best way to handle such calls is to hang up and contact police to report any suspicious phone calls or threats.