Odom: Be wary of jury duty scam
by Elane Jones
Feb 23, 2013 | 3664 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In various parts of the United States, including Walker County, citizens are being targeted either by phone calls, texts or emails threatening prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts.

As a part of the scam, the threat of a fine for shirking jury duty is used to coerce those who are contacted into providing confidential information, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud.

Walker County Ciruit Clerk Susan Odom said these actions are not from actual court officials.

“The federal, state or local courts do not call, text or email anyone regarding their failure to comply with jury service, and even if we did, we would not require anyone to provide any sensitive information,” Odom said. “Most of the contact between the courts and a prospective juror is done through the U.S. Mail. And any phone contact by real court officials do not include requests for social security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information.”

Odom said jury duty is a vital civic responsibility and should be taken seriously by all citizens, but it is a crime for anyone to falsely represent himself or herself as a federal, state or local court official.

“The federal, state and local judiciary takes such an offense seriously,” Odom said. “And anyone in our area who is receiving such calls, texts or emails should not provide the person who contacts them with any information requested.”

Any questions regarding jury service should be directed to the Walker County Circuit Clerk’s Office at 205-384-7268.