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A new jury-duty email scam is being reported by federal court districts nationwide.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts issued a warning last week about the scam. It claims to be affiliated with the courts' eJuror registration program, which is used in about 80 federal court districts across the country.
Email Seeks Personal Information, Threatens Jail Time
The scam emails claim that the individual receiving the message has been selected for jury service. It instructs the recipient to fill out a form that asks for an array of sensitive personal information: Social Security number, mother's maiden name, driver's license number, date of birth, and cell phone number. The email also threatens those who fail to provide the requested information with fines and jail time.
Needless to say, providing such information via email can easily lead to identity theft.
Federal Jury Summons Won't Come by Email
The Administrative Office advises that real requests for personal information in connection with federal jury service will come in the form of formal written correspondence sent via U.S. mail.
In districts which use the online eJuror system, potential jurors will receive written instructions on how to access a secure, online connection. "eJuror never requests that personal identification information be sent directly in an email response," says the alert issued by the Administrative Office.
The office also warns that any telephone contact from court officials will never include requests for personal information such as credit card numbers of Social Security numbers. A separate juror scam earlier this year used phone calls threatening prosecution for failing to comply with jury service to coerce sensitive personal information from citizens.
What to Do If You Receive a Juror Scam Email
The Administrative Office advises that anyone who believes they have received a fraudulent email or phone call regarding federal jury service to notify the Clerk of Court's office of the U.S. District Court in their area.
If you're not sure where the nearest U.S. District Court is, you find out using the Office's online court locator.