If you get a call, email or text from someone threatening to send you to jail over jury duty unless you send them money, don’t fall for it. Those scam calls have been happening more in Oregon.
The Oregon Department of Justice said the most recent reports of this have been happening in the Willamette Valley, but they are likely happening in other areas, too.
The scammer tells you that you owe fines for not responding to a jury summons. You’re then pressured to buy a prepaid debit card or gift card and provide those cards to someone in person or the card code numbers to people over the phone.
Oregon DOJ says that it may provide jury notices and reminders by text, but that these texts will not request personal information, make threats, or demand money.
DOJ reminders citizens:
- DO NOT provide the requested information or payment.
- DO NOT reply directly to the text or email, click on any links, or open any attachments, even if it appears that the message is coming from the court or a local police agency. Scammers often create messages that look like they are coming from a legitimate source.
- If possible, get the caller’s name and number and then hang up.
- Reach out directly to your local circuit court jury coordinator to verify or report the contact. Contact information for the state circuit courts is available at courts.oregon.gov/courts. For Oregon’s federal courts, information about jury service and possible scams is available at ord.uscourts.gov/jurors.
If you get one of these calls, texts or emails and you’ve given out personal information, DOJ advises you to monitor your account statements and credit reports carefully. If any unauthorized charges are made, report the theft to local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission at 877-438-4338 or www.consumer.gov/idtheft. Also, contact a credit bureau to request that it place a fraud alert on your credit history.