Oregonians are once again being targeted by fraudulent phone calls, emails, or texts threatening them with fines, prosecution, or jail time for failing to comply with jury service.
The most recent fraud reports are from the Willamette Valley, but it is likely that other areas may be targeted as well, according to the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD).
In the latest version of this scam, citizens are being told that they owe fines for not responding to a jury summons. They are then pressured to purchase prepaid debit/gift cards and provide these cards or card code numbers to people over the phone or in person.
These fraudulent calls and messages are not connected with the state or federal courts, the OJD states in a release.
"State and federal courts do not require anyone to provide sensitive information in a telephone call, email, or text," the release reads. "Oregon state courts may provide jury notices and reminders by text, but these will not request personal information, make threats, or demand money."
Here is what to do if you receive a jury-related phone call, email or text that demands information or money:
- Do Not provide the requested information or payment.
- Do Not reply directly to the text or email, click on any links, or open any attachments, even if it appears that the message is coming from the court or a local police agency. Scammers often create messages that look like they are coming from a legitimate source.
- If possible, get the caller’s name and number and then hang up.
- Reach out directly to your local circuit court jury coordinator to verify or report the contact.
Contact information for the state circuit courts is available at courts.oregon.gov/courts. For Oregon’s federal courts, information about jury service and possible scams is available at ord.uscourts.gov/jurors.
If you have received one of these calls, emails, or texts and have given out personal information, monitor your account statements and credit reports carefully.
If any unauthorized charges are made, report the theft to local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission at 877-438-4338 or www.consumer.gov/idtheft. Also, contact a credit bureau to request that it place a fraud alert on your credit history.
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