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Recently, consumers in Western MA have been targeted by phony telephone calls and emails about serving jury duty. These scams are so popular and widespread that the United States Courts issued a public alert to warn civilians.  And, just a few years ago, the Massachusetts Court System posted a warning alerting consumers about the scam.

It works like this:

Scammers posing as officials from state or federal courts contact citizens by phone or email and either claim to be verifying information for an upcoming jury duty or threatening them with fines or legal action for missing jury duty. Like all phishing scams, victims are pressured to provide personal information such as social security numbers to confirm identities and credit card numbers in order to pay fines.  This can lead to identity theft and fraud.

Federal and State Courts do not require anyone to provide any confidential data over the phone or email and will never ask for information about your social security number or credit card numbers. Most contact is through the U.S. mail.

If you think you may have accidentally missed jury duty, you can call the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC) for the Commonwealth and check. Contact them by calling 1-800-THE-JURY (1-800-843-5879).

If you’ve been contacted by a scammer:

If you receive a similar telephone call or email, do not give them your information. Notify the Clerk of Court’s office of the U.S. District Court in your area or the OJC. You can find the contact information for federal courts through the U.S. Courts court locator.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws and Arbitration Program, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

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