Alert from the Bowie Police Department – Jury Duty Scam
Going strong for more than a decade, the jury duty scam is back in our area. As one of the most successful intimidation impostor schemes, this scam allows defrauders quick access to your information and a fast way to get your money. Scaring you is their intent, and it all begins with a phone call.
This phone call is typically made after hours (which should be a red flag) from someone claiming to represent a law enforcement agency. This could be your local police, a sheriff’s department, or US Marshals Service. The caller might say that you are facing imminent arrest due to not reporting for mandated jury duty. The caller may cite actual names of law enforcement persons or even judges. In order to “avoid arrest,” the caller will say that you can pay a fine. This will be in the form of a gift card or prepaid debit card (Green Dot MoneyPak or iTunes gift cards are popular ones with this scam.) They will also ask you to confirm your identity, which may include name, date of birth, or even social security number, to ensure they have reached the correct “violator.”
- Do NOT purchase any gift card or prepaid debit cards.
- Hang up without providing any information about yourself.
- Report the incident to your local police department or the FBI tip line (https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx) to aid in investigation of these scams.
- Legitimate law enforcement officials will never call to warn you of an impending arrest. This is true of any type of infraction, let alone a missed jury duty date.
- These calls are often made later in the evening, well beyond courthouse hours of operation/closing times.
- Always remember that Caller IDs can be manipulated to show the name and phone numbers of intended agencies or businesses. If you are concerned, do your own research on courthouse or law enforcement numbers and verify any missed court dates or missed jury duty dates with a court clerk during regular business hours.
- Legitimate jury duty notifications and “no show” summonses are almost always delivered through the mail system. You will never be asked for personal information from anyone from a courthouse system regarding a missed jury duty date.
If you have questions or believe that you may have been a victim of this scam, please contact the Bowie Police Department at 240-544-5700.