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Jury Scams

Be Aware of Juror Scams Affecting Federal Courts

The court has been advised of a scam involving a fraudulent summons for federal jury service sent via email. Please note that the U.S. District Court does not summon jurors via email. DO NOT open any links in an email that purports to summon you for federal jury service. You should delete the message immediately. A genuine summons for federal jury service will arrive via U.S. mail bearing the court seal, and will provide the court's email and phone contact information.

If you have any doubts about the validity of a jury summons you have received, contact the court (see Jury Contact to the left).

 U.S. Marshals Warn of Nationwide Jury Scam

The U.S. Marshals Service is warning the public of a nationwide telephone scam involving individuals claiming to be U.S. marshals, court officers or law enforcement officials seeking to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty. The U.S. Marshals Service said it does not call anyone to arrange payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty or any other infraction. In order to appear more credible, the scammers may even provide information like badge numbers and the names of actual federal judges and courthouse addresses. Victims have been told they can avoid arrest by paying a fine using a reloadable credit card, and were urged to call a number and provide their own credit card number to initiate the process.The Marshals Service urges the public not to divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers, even if they sound legitimate. If anyone contacts your court believing that they were a victim of the jury duty scam, please encourage them to report the incident to local law enforcement department, or local U.S. Marshals or FBI office.

You may be the target of a juror scam.

If you are called by someone who says there is a warrant for your arrest related to missed federal jury duty, do not make any payments to them. Neither the U.S. Marshals Service, nor the U.S. District Court, will ever call to request payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty.

The fraudulent caller may identify themselves as an officer with local law enforcement or the U.S. Marshals Service. They will typically instruct you to purchase prepaid debit cards, such as a Green Dot card or gift card, and read the card numbers over the phone to pay your fines in order to avoid arrest.

The caller may use a variety of tactics to sound credible, and may become aggressive or persistent.  They may instruct you to mail the prepaid cards to a specific judge or to report to your local courthouse with the prepaid debit cards.  They may provide information like badge numbers, case numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials, public servants, and federal judges.  They may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on Caller ID as if they are calling from a courthouse or a government agency.

More information about this type of fraudulent activity can be found on our Juror page, the U.S. Courts web page, and Juror Scam Alert.

Also see the KTVQ press release regarding the telephone jury scam in Billings