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News Item
Minnesota Judicial Branch warns public about jury scam

Posted: Monday, June 3, 2024

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A national scam in which individuals pose as law enforcement officers and falsely claim there is a warrant for the recipient's arrest is now happening in Minnesota.

The scam, which claims people are in imminent danger of arrest for missing jury duty, is designed to create panic and pressure victims into providing personal information or making immediate payments to avoid arrest.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch became aware that scammers were targeting Minnesotans after the Duluth courthouse received a panicked call from a victim. The person told the court she received a call from someone claiming to be a police officer with an arrest warrant for her signed by local judge. When the victim started asking the caller questions, the caller became belligerent and mean. The victim hung up and called the court, which informed her the call was a scam.
“Although jury duty is an important civic duty, neither police nor the Minnesota Judicial Branch will ever call you and demand money if you do not respond to your jury summons,” said Minnesota State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba.
 

Scam warning signs

  • Unsolicited Contact: Scammers call or email without any prior notification, claiming they are a police officer and that you have an arrest warrant for missing jury duty. In some cases, scammers “spoof” the telephone number so it looks like they are calling from the court or from a law enforcement agency.
  • High-Pressure Tactics: Scammers use fear and urgency to compel you to act quickly, threatening arrest or legal action if their demands are not met.
  • Request for Personal Information: Scammers may ask for personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank account details, or credit card numbers.
  • Demand for Immediate Payment: Scammers may insist on immediate payment to avoid being arrested.

What to Do If You Are Contacted

  • Do Not Provide Personal Information: Never give out personal or financial information over the phone or through email to unsolicited contacts.
  • Verify the Claim: Contact your local jury office or law enforcement agency directly to verify if there are any legitimate issues regarding jury duty or warrants.
  • Report the Incident: If you believe you have been targeted by this scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Official Procedures for Jury Duty Notifications

Jury duty summons are sent via mail, not by phone or email. And while failure to report for jury duty can result in penalties, the court will never call you to demand money.
Likewise, you may search for arrest warrant information in the Minnesota Court Records Online database.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is committed to protecting the community from fraud and scams and urge the public to remain vigilant and informed about the tactics used by scammers to avoid falling victim to these deceitful practices.