Threats of fines or jail time over missed jury duty by phone or email? It’s a scam


Phone calls or emails threatening citizens with fines or jail time over missed jury duty are a scam, the U.S. Marshals office warned Thursday. And the fraudsters have begun reaching out to people in South Florida.

Missing jury duty is a crime that can come with a $100 fine in Miami-Dade County. But that notice, or any official communication about jury duty, will always come through the mail. This letter may direct jurors to an online questionnaire.

If the person purporting to be an employee of the federal courts or a U.S. Marshal asks for a Social Security number, credit card number or any other personally identifiable information, it’s bogus.

“Federal courts will NEVER require anyone to provide their sensitive information in a telephone call or email,” the agency wrote in a release.

If you believe you’re being scammed, take down the caller’s number and report it to the Miami U.S. Marshall’s office at 786-433-6340.

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc