Earlier today the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota sent out an alert to those practicing in that court regarding a wave of fraud incidents associated with jury service. According to the alert, citizens are being told that they must pay fines for missing jury service, when in fact the individuals had not been called for jury duty. While the alert relates to the state of South Dakota, individuals throughout the country should be suspicious of any such call claiming that they must pay penalties for missing jury service if they were not previously notified that they were part of a jury pool. If you receive such a call, you should contact your local court or law enforcement officers.
Below is a news release from the U.S. Attorney for South Dakota.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler District of South Dakota
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Ace Crawford
Date: November 18, 2016 Phone: 605.341.1915
SCAM TARGETING LOCAL RESIDENTS
Citizens being told to send money for not reporting for jury duty
United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler reported today that local law enforcement authorities have been receiving reports of residents being targeted in a telephonic scam. Unsuspecting citizens have been receiving telephone calls from persons claiming to be a police officer, clerk of courts personnel, and even a federal district court judge. The caller claims the citizen was supposed to report for jury duty in federal or state court, and failed to report as directed. The citizen is being told by the bogus caller that they must send money to a specified account or person in order to avoid being arrested.
U.S. Attorney Seiler wants citizens to know the claims being made in these calls are totally false and, if contacted, citizens should not send money to anyone as instructed in the fraudulent call.
If you feel you have been a target of this scam you should immediately contact the Rapid City Police Department at 605.394.4131 or the United States Marshals Service in Rapid City at 605.342-6331.