Federal jury calls deemed a scam

Federal jury calls deemed a scam


Several people in the Southern District of Mississippi, which includes Madison County and all counties south and along I-20, reported to have received phone calls and emails with threats of prosecution for failing to appear for jury service, federal court officials announced this week. 

The threats include fines and jail time.

“These calls and emails are fraudulent and are not connected with the U.S. Courts,” an email from the U.S. Southern District said. 

“In recent weeks we have seen an increase of impersonators calling the public and using names of actual law enforcement officers and even federal judges informing the public they have missed jury duty and a fine or bond must now be paid,” said Chief Deputy U. S. Marshal Shermaine Sullivan of the Southern District of Mississippi.

Chief Judge Dan Jordan noted that the court regularly sees this type of scam. “The public should know that while jury service is mandatory and important, no one from law enforcement or the courts will contact a juror who fails to appear by phone and demand payment of a fine,” he said.  “While the clerk’s office may occasionally reach out to jurors by phone, it never does so to request payment. Such a request is a key indicator that the call is a scam.”  

Initial contact between a federal court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. mail to complete a juror qualification questionnaire (some jurors may subsequently go online to a secure court website to complete that questionnaire.) Phone contact by federal court officials to potential jurors will never include requests for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information.

If you receive a call asking for this information, or if you have questions, please contact Clerk of Court Arthur Johnston at 601-608-4010,Arthur_Johnston@mssd.uscourts.gov or Chief Deputy U. S. Marshal Shermaine Sullivan at 601-608-6800, Shermaine_Sullivan@usdoj.gov.

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