Calls to collect jury duty fines are scams, Maryland court says

The federal court for the District of Maryland is warning citizens not to fall for false jury service claims from scam callers.

Officials said these callers are impersonating court administrators, U.S. Marshals and state and federal law enforcement officers who claim victims will be hauled off to jail if they don’t pay a fine for missing jury duty.

“The callers insisted that their victims arrange to meet them with cash or prepaid credit cards,” the court said in a news release.

Maryland’s district court added that “callers sometimes [disguise] their phone numbers so that they appear to be court or law enforcement numbers on the recipients’ caller ID. They also may transfer victims during the calls to create the illusion that they are speaking with government offices.”

If you get a call claiming to be looking for a fine because of missing jury duty, officials said that call is fraudulent.

“Neither this Court nor any other law enforcement agency will ever call someone to request the payment of a fine over the telephone for failure to appear for jury duty,” the court said.

Missing jury duty or otherwise failing to appear would, typically, result in a contact from the Clerk’s Office. The court said that some would be ordered to appear before a judge, but any fine for missing jury duty would be given by a judge in open court and offer a chance to explain why a jury assignment was missed.

Court officials ask anyone contacted by a person requesting similar payments to immediately report the incident to the FBI’s Maryland Field Office by calling 410-265-8080. If you have questions about your jury summons or whether you have been summoned, call the court clerk’s office at 410-962-3090.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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