Harrison County District Clerk’s Office, federal court warn of juror phishing scam | Local News

MARSHALL – The Harrison County District Clerk’s Office is warning of a scam in which a caller poses as an office employee and asks a resident to sign up for jury duty.

“We have had phone calls (Thursday) about someone is calling using the District Clerk’s Office phone number telling you that you need to sign up for jury duty,” District Clerk Sherry Griffis said in a Facebook post. “This is not the Harrison County District Clerk Office calling. This is a scammer using our number to get personal information to use in some illegal use. ”

Griffis added that her office will never have to solicit information for jury duty.

“All of our jury information comes through the mail,” she said.

Griffis advised the public to be vigilant and call the district clerk’s office at (903) 935-8409 with questions.

In addition, The US District Court of the Eastern District of Texas, which has a federal court in Marshall, has also posted a warning about a jury scam.

According to officials, scams that target residents with false jury service claims prey on people’s fears by threatening arrest for a missed summons.

“Recent scams in federal courts are typical of fraudsters. Callers impersonating court officials, US marshals or other law enforcement officers telephoned random victims to try to convince them to pay a fine to avoid arrest for failing to appear for jury duty, ”court officials said. “The callers insisted that their victims bring cash or prepaid credit cards to the courthouse where they arranged to meet them.”

Federal court officials said a court will always send a jury summons by US mail and will never demand payment or sensitive information over the telephone.

“In most cases, a prospective juror who disregards a summons will be contacted by the court clerk’s office and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear before a judge. A fine may be imposed but not until the court appearance, during which an individual has the opportunity to explain a failure to appear, ”The US District Court of the Eastern District of Texas explains on its website.

David Harlow, acting director of the US Marshals Service, said the agency wants to make the public aware of telephone and impersonation scams so they can avoid becoming victims.

“Please be assured that the US Marshals Service will never call anyone to arrange payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty, for outstanding warrants or for any other infraction,” Harlow said.

According to officials, fraudulent callers sometimes disguise their phone numbers so that they appear to be court or law enforcement numbers on caller IDs.

“They also sometimes transfer victims during calls to create the illusion that they are speaking with government offices.”

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