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Threatened with jail time? Courts warn Arizona residents of jury service scam calls

Authorities found that some people were defrauded by as much as $6,000

PHOENIX — Did you get a call saying you will be arrested if you fail to appear for jury duty? If so, ignore it.

The Maricopa County Superior Court is warning Arizonans that scammers are calling members of the community and threatening them they will be arrested if they fail to appear for jury service. The scammers are telling people to pay fines and fees to avoid arrest and jail time.

Authorities found that some people were defrauded by as much as $6,000.

Officials said scammers attempt to defraud people by having them pay fake jury fines with a prepaid debit or gift card. The scammer will then request the person read them the scratched-off number on the back of the card. Once the scammer has the number, they drain the money 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,” Jury Administrator Matthew Martin said.

"Recently, we have received 13 cards with a value of more than $6,300," said Martin.

Officials suggest if you are 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. Be aware - scammers will do all they can to insist you stay on the phone with them the entire time, officials said. This is a red flag. 

If you are in doubt, you can verify your jury service status by calling the Superior Court in Maricopa County Jury Office at 602-506-5879.

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