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Jury Duty Phone Calls

 

Beware of phone calls from people who say they work for the court and tell you that you missed jury duty.

This is a trick to get your personal information. If one of these people calls you and tells you that you missed jury duty and you never knew anything about it, they might ask you to prove who you are by giving them information like your  Social Security Number, and your birthday.

These callers often say they are a sheriff, a court or state officer and they tell you that either you, your child, or your partner has missed jury duty. They say you will be fined or arrested if you don't report to the court right away. This trick often works because they are counting on the fact that you will be afraid and angry if you think you have broken the law. Since the caller isn't selling something or directly asking for personal information, people who get these phone calls often don't see it's a trick. People are eager to offer information to persuade the caller that there has been a mistake.

This identity theft scam has been reported all over the country, but is only now appearing in Massachusetts.

Pamela J. Wood, Jury Commissioner for the Commonwealth says the courts never call jurors on the telephone about jury service. If you get a phone call about jury duty it is a trick. If you skip jury duty, you will get a letter in the mail with details about the date and place of your missed jury service and it will tell you to call the Office of Jury Commissioner. You will get reminders in the mail and finally be prosecuted if it is not taken care of, but all communications are sent through the mail.

The Office of Jury Commissioner offers the following guidelines to anyone who gets a call about missing jury duty:

If you receive a telephone call claiming that you or someone you know has missed jury duty,

  • Do not give the caller any personal information about yourself or anyone else, no matter what;
  • Hang up and call the Office of Jury Commissioner at (800) THE-JURY (843-5879); or
  • Send an e-mail to JurorHelp@jud.state.ma.us, requesting confirmation of your juror status;
  • Don't be victimized by someone trying to take advantage of your sense of civic duty.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created February 13, 2007


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