Attorney General’s Office: Beware of Jury Duty Phone Scammers

Image courtesy MGN online

Attorney General Matt Denn and the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Unit are warning Delawareans to be on the lookout for phony calls about jury duty. The Department of Justice and other agencies have alerted the public to these scams previously, but recent reports of new calls hitting consumer phone lines have prompted the fresh warning.

In the scam, the consumer is told over the phone that they failed to report to jury duty and that a sheriff will arrest them or that a capias will be issued for the consumer. The consumer is then told they can pay a fine and that the caller will not send the sheriff to apprehend them.

There are some clear indicators that these calls are a scam. Delawareans eligible for jury duty are always notified about their obligation to serve jury duty by mail; never by telephone, and the sheriffs in Delaware do not have arrest powers.

The Attorney General cautions all consumers to be conscientious about suspicious phone calls by:

Checking with the Delaware Superior Court to see whether you have been summoned if the phone call regards jury duty by calling Superior Court Jury Services at (302) 255-0880 for New Castle County, (302) 735-1901 for Kent County, and (302) 855-7055 for Sussex County;

Never agreeing to pay any fine or other money over the phone;

Not answering calls from unknown numbers or unfamiliar persons; and

Hanging up on aggressive callers, particularly those who threaten you with arrest.

The Attorney General encourages consumers who believe they may have been scammed to call the toll-free Consumer Hotline at (800) 220-5424 or email the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at [email protected]. If you receive a call but have not paid any money to the scammers, you can report the phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry and file a complaint, www.donotcall.gov.

If you are an adult Delaware resident, a registered voter, possess a Delaware driver’s license or state ID card, and are a U.S. citizen, you may be called for jury duty in Delaware. Consumers should always be diligent about their duty to serve as a juror, and, when summoned, appear as required. Consumers who are unsure whether they have missed a summons to jury duty, can and should contact Jury Services at the Superior Court in their county using the numbers above.

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