WARNING: Phone Call Scams and Email Scams Regarding Jury Service May Lead to Fraud
United States citizens are being fraudulently targeted by phone calls and threatened with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts. In the calls, the threat of a fine for shirking jury service is used to coerce individuals into providing confidential data, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud. These calls are not originating from actual court officials.
Juror phishing email scams are also on the rise. Recipients are asked to provide personal identifiers (social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, etc.) on an attached form and email back to the originator. District courts never request personal identification information be returned in an email response. Our requests to complete a summons questionnaire or qualification questionnaire are initiated by formal written correspondence that provide instructions for the juror and are authenticated over a secure connection.
Federal courts do not request sensitive information in a telephone call. Most contact between a federal court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. Mail, and any phone contact by court officials will not include requests for social security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information.
Jury duty is a vital civic responsibility and should be taken seriously by all citizens. It is a crime for anyone to falsely represent himself or herself as a federal court official. The federal judiciary takes seriously such an offense.
Persons receiving such a telephone call or bogus email should not provide the requested information; instead please contact the Clerk of Court's office of the U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina at 803-253-3198.
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