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Warning Re: Jury Scams
August 1, 2014
For the last several months, the United States district courts have become aware that citizens are being targeted by phone and by email that they may be prosecuted for failure to comply with jury service. Citizens are also being asked to provide confidential information, such as social security numbers, dates of birth, etc. These false requests are used to coerce citizens into providing confidential data, which could lead to identity theft or fraud. In some cases, citizens are informed that there is a warrant for their arrest and they are asked to pay a fine. These scams may use the actuals names of judicial officers, courts and law enforcement personnel to lend authenticity to their illegal activity.
Persons receiving these phone and email requests should not respond to them and should not provide any personal information by email or telephone. Federal courts do not require citizens to provide confidential information by telephone or by email. Most contact by federal courts with prospective jurors will be through the U.S. mail, or by phone, from a real court official and it will not include requests for social security numbers, credit card numbers, dates of birth or other personal information.
Federal courts, including the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, using an online program for jurors called E-Juror, never request that personal identification information be sent directly in an email or by phone to the Court. Requests to respond to a questionnaire or summons are initiated by formal written correspondence and jurors are provided instructions for completion of any questionnaire or summons in paper or, over a secure website at (https://ecf.med.uscourts.gov/ejuror/TransportRoom?servlet=login).
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 official.
Anyone having questions about the authenticity of a request should contact the Clerk’s Office for the U.S. District for the District of Maine at 1-800-578-5708 or visit the Court’s website at http://www.med.uscourts.gov/nodeblock/juror-information.