(updated July 06, 2012)
Telephone Calls and Text Messages
In the last few years, courts around the country have reported new identity theft scams. Callers or persons texting say they are from a local or federal court or police agency. They threaten people with arrest or other sanctions for missing jury service unless they provide personal information such as address, Social Security number, birth date, and other personal information.
This is a scam. The court will not call or text you and ask for personal information. Please report it (see
How to Protect Yourself, below).
In May 2008, we learned of a new scam involving subpoenas supposedly sent from the United State District Court. This is a scam. These are not valid subpoenas and may contain harmful links. Do not open any links or download any information from these emails.
Most of the bogus emails come from the address <uscourts.com>, which is not a government address. All federal court email comes from <uscourts.gov>. Law enforcement is investigating this scam.
How Courts Contact Jurors
Our courts do not call jurors who have missed jury duty and ask for personal information, such as bank account information, credit card numbers, or social security numbers. Rarely does the court need a juror's Social Security number. When the court does need that information for reporting certain payments for jury service, the court will never ask you to provide it over the telephone.
Our courts do not issue subpoenas by email.
What Courts are Doing About the Scams
We have asked our courts to
- warn jurors that they should not reveal information to callers over the telephone.
- warn their communities about the new email scam.
- update the informational material they send to persons summoned for jury duty.
How to Protect Yourself
If you receive one of these calls, get the caller's name and number if you can. Please report the call to your local circuit court jury coordinator immediately. The court will report the incident to law enforcement (you may want to file your own report, too).
If you get one of the emails, please report it to local law enforcement.
If you have received one of these calls or emails and have given out personal information, monitor your account statements and credit reports carefully. If any unauthorized charges are made, report the theft to local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission at 877.438.4338 or www.consumer.gov/idtheft. And contact a credit bureau to request that it place a fraud alert on your credit history.