What is Happening?
Throughout the state and country, imposters representing themselves as a court employee or law enforcement officer tell people that they have missed their jury duty and that a warrant is now out for their arrest. The imposter says that if they pay him or her hundreds of dollars, the matter would be resolved. This is just one of many scams by criminals who try to illegally profit off the fears of the average citizen.
How Can You Tell This is a Scam?
Please be aware that the court will NEVER contact a person via telephone or email and demand payment of a fine to avoid being arrested for failing to appear for jury service, unless that fine was ordered by a judge in the person’s presence. People who fail to appear for jury service may receive a letter from the court with a date to appear to explain to a judge why they failed to appear. Alternatively, a law enforcement officer may notify people that they must appear in court at a specific date and time to explain why they failed to appear. However, only a judge can require people to pay a fine for failing to appear for jury service and this can only occur after a person has been given the opportunity to explain themselves in open court.
What You Should Do
If you receive one of these phone calls, do not provide any personal or confidential information to these individuals. This is an attempt to steal or to use your identity by obtaining your name, Social Security number and potentially to apply for credit or credit cards or other loans in your name. It is an attempt to defraud you. Contact law enforcement immediately.
Law Enforcement Websites and Phone Numbers
- Mendocino County Sheriff's Office - (707) 463-4086
- Fort Bragg Police Department - (707) 964-0200
- Ukiah Police Department - (707) 462-6262
- Willits Police Department - (707) 459-6122