Fictitious Arrest Warrants and Scam Jury Service Phone Calls May Lead To Fraud

Friday, November 22, 2013

In various parts of the United States, citizens are being targeted by either (1) mailings containing fictitious arrest warrants on a criminal charge, offering a chance to avoid arrest through the payment of a specific amount; or (2) phone calls containing threats of prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts.

In the calls, the threat of a fine or prosecution for shirking jury service is used to coerce those called into either (1) providing confidential data, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud; or (2) purchasing a prepaid credit card and providing the credit card information to a call-in service. These mailings and calls are NOT from real court officials.

Federal courts do not mail arrest warrants on criminal charges nor do they require prospective jurors to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call.

Jury duty is a vital civic responsibility and should be taken seriously by all citizens. However, it is a crime for anyone to falsely represent himself or herself as a federal court official. The federal judiciary takes seriously such an offense.

Persons receiving such a mailing or telephone call should not provide the requested information and should notify the Clerk of Court's office (509) 458-3400 and FBI office (509) 458-8100.