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Scammers try to get you to pay $500 for missing jury duty

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Flickr user Joe Gratz
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Oh, this one is low.

Apparently someone is calling around pretending to be from the Third Judicial Circuit court in Wayne County.

The scammer tells marks they’ve missed jury duty, and they can either pay a $500 fine - (Right now! Over the phone! How convenient!) - or the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.

Now some tiny warning bell might go off in your head if you were to get such a phone call, but what’s brilliant about this scam is that it hits a vulnerability many of us have. Who hasn’t missed some critical mail and had it come back to bite them? And “warrant for your arrest” seems like an awfully good reason to reach for the credit card.

Even those of us who believe we are far too savvy to fall for the Nigerian prince and his ilk might go for this one.

But the Third Judicial Court says it, and any other legit court, wouldn’t do this.

Court officials would never call someone who missed jury duty “requesting money and threatening arrest,” according to a statement released today.

“Do not respond to this phone call or pay anyone any sum of money,” the court advises.

“Obtain as much information as you can about the caller and report it to your local police department.”  

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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