Public warned of federal jury duty scammers

Thursday, January 12, 2017

ST. LOUIS -- The FBI St. Louis Division is warning the public about a telephone scam claiming you have failed to report to jury duty. During the call, the perpetrator impersonates a law enforcement officer or officer of the court. The caller claims you failed to report for jury duty and may even threaten criminal prosecution or jail time.

The scammer then asks for personal information such as your birth date or social security number for "verification purposes." The caller may even have some of your personal information and ask that you provide your bank account number or credit card number to "pay a fine."

"All scams contain an element of urgency to get the victim to act immediately," said William P. Woods, special agent in charge, FBI St. Louis Division. "Usually, you are being threatened or being told about an unexpected windfall. Then the perpetrator will try to get your personal information or your money."

"Do not provide your personal information," said Gregory Linhares, Clerk of Court, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri. "Federal courts do not require anyone to provide sensitive information in a telephone call or email. Most contact between a federal court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. mail. Any phone calls by real court officials will not include requests for sensitive personal information."

If you or someone you know receives such a call, do not provide your personal information. Write down the phone number on your caller ID and contact FBI St. Louis at (314) 589-2500. When you hear the recorded menu options, press "0" for the operator and say you are calling about the jury duty scam.

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