FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Criminals claiming to be police officers in search of citizens who have missed jury duty are back at work again in Allen County, demanding money to pay non-existent fines.
Bogus calls from scammers have been reported this week, originating from a 260 area code telephone number. An individual claiming to be a law enforcement officer instructs the recipient that they have missed jury duty, a warrant has been issued for his or her arrest and that the person must provide the scammer with money in order to satisfy a resulting fine.
Callers have been known to demand payment through cash, debit cards or gift cards. Some calls have reportedly included a demand for an in-person meeting to pay a cash fine.
“These individuals are not calling on the Court’s behalf,” said Judge Frances C. Gull, Administrative Judge of the Allen Superior Court Criminal Division. “They are dangerous scam artists with only one objective – to defraud decent people trying to right a wrong that they have not committed.”
In Allen County, all legitimate contact with prospective jurors occurs in writing, beginning with a postcard requesting certain information to determine eligibility for jury service. Personal information, such as bank or credit card numbers, or any type of payment obligation, is never requested.
Anyone with questions about jury duty service, including questions regarding the legitimacy of an unsolicited contact, may call the Allen Superior Court Jury Management Office at (260) 449-7520 or (260) 449-7022.
Allen Superior Court has produced a podcast on jury duty that includes a segment addressing jury duty scams. The relevant segment on jury duty scams begins at the 3:25 mark.