COLUMBIA, Missouri – Members of the public have again contacted the 13th Circuit after receiving phone calls asking for money for allegedly failing to appear for jury service. This is not a new scam, but the people doing the scam have changed their tactics. The court wants to remind the public that it will never call a person and ask them to pay for failing to appear for jury service. If someone calls and starts to ask for money for failing to appear for jury service, hang up immediately. If you are concerned, after hanging up, call the court at 886-4099 or call the sheriff at 875-1111.
These scams come up periodically and usually involve making a person go to a store and purchase some type of gift card (recently it was a “Google Play” card), and then read the numbers off the back over the phone. That is all the scammer needs to get the money. It is not clear whether it’s traceable after someone has those numbers.
Some people have given the scammers thousands of dollars in gift cards. Most recently individuals have been contacted at work with the person on the phone saying a specific judge is upset and has signed a warrant for their arrest. The phone number that appears on caller ID may even look like it is a call from the sheriff but, according to the Federal Communications Commission, that can be done through “Caller ID spoofing.”
Again, law enforcement and the court will never call and ask someone to pay money for missing jury service.
For Immediate Release: August 23, 2019