Authorities in the South Bay are warning against scammers trying to trick victims into believing they’ve missed jury duty and owe money.
Santa Clara County Superior Court issued an advisory on Thursday about jury-related scams recently reported in the county.
In the scam, which has popped up in a dozen states including California, imposters claim to be court officials or law enforcement officers, using fake badge numbers and photoshopped images to appear authentic.
“One unfortunate consequence of these tactics is that individuals may genuinely believe they have missed a court appearance and owe money as a result,” the Santa Clara County court advisory states.
To thwart scammers, residents should not provide any personal or financial information over the phone to anyone claiming to be court officials or law enforcement. Court officials will never request sensitive information by phone.
Anyone who gets a request for personal information should contact the fraud unit of their local police department. In addition the incident should be reported to the jury office of the local court.
Official court personnel may contact someone by telephone, but they will never ask for personal information, the court said.
“If in doubt, hang up and independently verify the legitimacy of the call by contacting the court directly,” according to the advisory.
The County of Santa Clara’s jury office can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact information for California courts can be found at courts.ca.gov.
Source: NBC Bay Area