ROCKINGHAM — If you get a call or email warning that you missed jury duty, it could just be scammer at work.
The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts issued an alert Friday afternoon warning that Richmond County residents were being “targeted by scammers via email telling them they have failed to report for jury service and may have to appear in court.”
The alert says the email instructs the intended victim to click a link for more details, followed by: “THIS IS A SCAM. Delete the email and do not click on the link!”
Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court Vickie Daniel said she received a call from a concerned local business owner on Friday reporting the scam. Daniel then notified the state office.
According to the AOC, the clerk’s office will not contact prospective jurors by email.
“There are many jury scams, so please remember that court staff or the (sheriff’s office) do not call or email (residents) requesting Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, money, or any other sensitive financial information,” the alert continues.
The public is encouraged to report suspicious calls or emails to their local sheriff’s office and victims should report it to the N.C. Attorney General’s Office, according to the alert.
Laura Brewer with the A.G.’s office said she doesn’t think jury scams are in the top 10 of complaints received each year, however there were quite a few last year.
Brewer said office records showed 136 jury duty scam reports in 2017. Twenty of those involved victims losing a total of $37,694.
A press release from last April said victims reported losses of about $1,000 each.
The office issued the following tips to help residents protect themselves:
• Real notices for jury duty arrive by mail.
• Legitimate public officials won’t call to threaten you with arrest if you don’t show up for jury duty or fail to pay a fine immediately.
• Hang up on jury duty scammers and other crooks who try to trick you out of your hard-earned money.
• If someone tries to get you to use a prepaid debit card or a gift card to pay money they say you owe them, you are almost certainly being scammed.
• If you get one of these calls, report it to your local police department and file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or completing the form online at www.ncdoj.gov.