After missing jury duty, an Ohio man paid $400 to a fraudster. The Alaska, Connecticut, and Miami courts have cautioned people about similar schemes.
Miami-Dade Courts Chief Judge Nushin G. Sayfie told Local 10 that "these instances are looking pretty sophisticated, and I think we all know the emails we are all getting out there and the phone calls are becoming more and more sophisticated."
"People are being targeted by phone call, email, and messaging scams threatening them with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service," according to the U.S. Courts. It is illegal "for anyone to falsely represent themselves) as a federal court official," and the federal Judiciary "takes such offenses seriously," according to its website.
"Jury service is one of the most important public services a citizen can perform, and it is a serious matter when scammers attempt to use a citizen’s sense of civic duty to defraud them," Handberg said.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, anybody who believes they have been deceived can report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The following information may be provided: the victim's personal details (such as their residence and date of birth), the identities of federal judges and court personnel, the physical locations and phone numbers of the courts, and the case and badge numbers.
The National Center for State Courts found that less than 5% of Americans serve on juries, compared to 15% who are called annually, according to the Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center says the survey reflects 70% of Americans.