Southern District of Indiana officials warn Hoosiers of jury duty phone scam

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana officials are again warning Hoosiers of a jury duty phone scam.

In the scam, callers pose as U.S. Marshals or other government officials and claim the victim is about to be arrested for not appearing for jury duty, but can avoid arrest by paying a fine.

Chief U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson and U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said Thursday that the Southern District of Indiana has recently received an increased number of phone calls from victims regarding these scams.

Officials say the scammers often provide information that seems very convincing, including the real names of federal judges or court employees, the location of the courthouse, court phone numbers, and case and badge numbers. Recent scammers have also included the victim’s work address, home address, and date of birth, which further leads the victim to believe the call is legitimate.

“The people conducting this scam can be very convincing. They call their law-abiding victims and terrify them with threats of arrest and jail unless they pay up immediately,” said Judge Magnus-Stinson. “The U.S. Courts do not operate this way. In no instance will a court official, U.S. Marshal, or other government employee contact someone and demand payment or personal information by phone or email. This is a scam, and a lot of people are being hurt.”

“Those who take advantage of trusting citizens must know that there is zero tolerance for this type of behavior; fraudsters and other scammers will face the full force of federal law enforcement for such activity,” said Minkler.

Hoosiers who believe they have been the victim of such a scam are encouraged to report the incident to the District Court Clerk’s Office at 317-229-3700; the Federal Trade Commission; and the U. S. Marshals Service at 317-226-6566.