Fake jury duty phone calls target Indiana residents

State court system warns Hoosiers about calls

INDIANAPOLIS - The state court system warned Indiana residents Friday not to be fooled by fake jury duty phone calls some trial courts have been hearing about.

The trial courts passed along their concern to the Division of State Court Administration and Indiana Judicial Center.

"There have only been a few incidents, but court leaders are alerting the public in the abundance of caution," read a statement from Kathryn Dolan, public information officer of the Indiana Supreme Court.

Dolan said judges in Henry and Hamilton County had heard of residents who received calls claiming that recipients had missed jury service.

The caller "offered ways to resolve the situation by appearing in court or providing financial information to pay a fine," Dolan said, noting that there have been no reports of anyone revealing personal information to the caller.

Courts in Indiana never ask potential jurors or those who missed jury duty for money, Dolan said.

"Courts never ask for specific bank account numbers, credit card information or personal identification numbers and never call jurors and pressure them to reveal personal information, especially financial information," Dolan said.

The first contact with potential jurors in Indiana is conducted through the mail with a written summons that may ask for basic information, such as name, age, occupation, marital service and prior jury service.

"If a person fails to appear for jury duty, the judge can send the sheriff to compel the individual to attend jury selection," Dolan said. "A judge can hold an individual in contempt and require the individual to pay a fine for failure to appear. However, none of these actions take place over the phone."

Anyone with questions about jury service in Indiana can find contact information for the proper court here -- http://www.in.gov/judiciary/2794.htm . Residents are encouraged to report fake jury duty calls to police.

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