Maryland Judiciary warns of new jury duty scam


— The Maryland Judiciary wants to warn the public about a new, more sophisticated scam that has been reported in southern Maryland, but also may be happening elsewhere throughout the state.

In the most recent telephone scam, the caller claims to work for the court and is calling about failing to appear for jury duty. People who have been called say the caller is persuasive and convincing. The caller asks for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information and attempts to persuade the individual targeted to use a PayPal account to pay a “fine.” The caller uses the names of real court officials, including the Clerk of the Court, and provides a bogus email address and phone number with real or real-sounding names. The number is not an official government telephone number, but callers to that number get a recording that claims they have reached the warrant division of the Sheriff’s Department.

These calls are scams. Courts do not call or email people to obtain payments or personal information. If you get such a call, hang up. Do not make any payments by PayPal or share any personal information. If you have received a call about jury duty, contact the Circuit Court in your jurisdiction. The Clerk’s Office in Charles County, where several reports of this scam have occurred, is working with local law enforcement. Contact information for courts is available on the Maryland Judiciary website’s courts directory.