MARSHALL — The Harrison County District Clerk’s Office is warning of a scam in which a caller poses as an office worker and asks a resident to register as a juror.
“We received phone calls (Thursday) about someone calling using the District Clerk’s Office phone number telling you that you need to register as a juror,” District Clerk Sherry Griffis said in a message on Facebook. “This is not the call from the Harrison County District Clerk’s Office. This is a scammer who uses our number to obtain personal information to use for illegal use. »
Griffis added that his office will never solicit information for jury duty.
“All of our jury information comes in the mail,” she said.
Griffis advised the public to be vigilant and to call the district clerk’s office at (903) 935-8409 with any questions.
Additionally, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which has federal court in Marshall, also issued a jury scam warning.
Scams that target residents with false jury service statements prey on people’s fears by threatening arrest for a missed summons, officials say.
“The recent scams in federal courts are typical of fraudsters. Callers posing as court officials, U.S. Marshals or other law enforcement agents phoned random victims trying to convince them to pay a fine to avoid arrest for not having appeared as a juror,” court officials said. “The callers insisted that their victims bring cash or prepaid credit cards to the courthouse where they made an appointment.”
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 phone.
“In most cases, a prospective juror who disregards a summons will be contacted by the court registry and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear before a judge. A fine may be imposed but not prior to the court appearance, during which an individual has the opportunity to explain a failure to appear,” explains the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on its website.
David Harlow, acting director of the US Marshals Service, said the agency wants to educate the public about phone and impersonation scams so people can avoid falling victim to them.
“Rest assured that the US Marshals Service will never call anyone to arrange for the payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear as a juror, for outstanding warrants or for any other violation,” Harlow said.
Fraudulent callers sometimes disguise their phone numbers so that they appear as caller ID court or law enforcement numbers, officials say.
“They also sometimes transfer victims during calls to create the illusion that they are speaking with government offices.”