PHOENIX (June 30, 2022) – By no means give money to anyone calling you to collect “jury service fines.”
The Superior Court in Maricopa County has recently uncovered fraudulent activity where scammers are calling members of the community and threatening them with arrest for failing to appear for jury service. The scammers are directing people to pay fines and fees to avoid arrest and jail time.
The Jury Office found that some people were defrauded by as much as $6,000.
“The scam is sophisticated, but the public must know that the Court does not fine people by phone for not appearing for jury duty. The court issues failure to appear notices, and potential jurors are asked to reschedule jury service for a later date,” Jury Administrator Matthew Martin said.
The current scam attempts to defraud people by having them pay fictitious jury fines with a prepaid debit or gift card. The scammer will request the person read them the scratched off number on the back of the card. Once the scammer has the number, they can deplete all funds placed on the card.
“The Jury Office started receiving envelopes in the mail with prepaid cards from community members as proof they had paid their fines by phone. This was a red flag,” Martin said. “I was able to contact the sender of one of the envelopes, and learned they were a victim of fraud and had filed a report with law enforcement. Recently, we have received 13 cards with a value of more than $6,300.”
If targeted by a jury scam, write down the phone number of the caller and then notify your local law enforcement agency. Do not give the caller any personal information or agree to provide any payment. Scam perpetrators will do all they can to insist you stay on the phone with them the entire time. This is a red flag. When in doubt, a person may verify their jury service status by calling the Superior Court in Maricopa County Jury Office at 602-506-5879.
Based on these latest incidents, the Superior Court in Maricopa County has notified the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Jury service is a vital component of the American justice system. The United States and Arizona constitutions guarantee the right of trial by jury. Therefore, all Maricopa County residents who are 18 years and older, a U.S. citizen and never been convicted of a felony or who have had their civil rights restored are obligated to serve on a jury. People over 75 years of age may be excused from jury service by written request or calling 602-506-5879. Also, anyone who appeared for jury service is exempt from serving for 18 months.
To learn more about jury service and how to respond to a jury summons in Maricopa County, please visit: https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/jury/.
# # #
The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County is comprised of Superior Court, Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation, which includes juvenile detention. The Judicial Branch in Maricopa County is the fourth largest trial court system in the nation and, along with its 3,000 employees, is dedicated to providing a safe, fair and impartial forum for resolving disputes, enhancing access to services, and providing innovative, evidence-based practices that improve the safety of the community and ensure the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch. For more information, visit www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov.
Contact: Vincent Funari, Public Information Officer Vincent.Funari@jbazmc.maricopa.gov 602.506.7032