Jury scams on the rise in the Augusta area

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The U.S. Marshals Service says federal and state jury duty scams are on the rise in Augusta, and that residents should know how to protect themselves.

Someone is posing as a Deputy U.S. Marshal and contacting people by phone or email. During the conversation, the suspect tells the victim they missed federal jury duty and they must pay a fine to avoid arrest.

According to a report, the scammer often is able to provide real information, like the name of a federal judge or address of a courthouse, to try to convince the victim.

The scammer has also been known to manipulate their phone number so it appears legitimate.

"Federal courts do not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call or email. Most contact between a federal court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. mail, and any phone contact by real court officials will not include requests for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information," a report said.

The Marshals Service says anyone who receives these phone calls or messages should verify who the caller represents and contact that organization directly.

Do not provide any personal information or send any money.