VALE – The Malheur County Circuit Court is recommending area residents to be on guard against a jury service scam that began earlier this year.
The Oregon Judicial Department reported that beginning in early 2023, Oregonians were targeted by fraudulent phone calls, emails or texts threatening them with fines or jail time for a failure to comply with jury service.
The court reported last week that it has received information the scam is occurring locally.
In the scam, residents are contacted and told they owe fines for not responding to a jury summons.
According to a press release from the Malheur County Circuit Court, people are “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 message are not connected with state courts.”
“State courts do not require anyone to provide sensitive information in a telephone call, email or text. Oregon state courts may provide jury notices and reminders by text, but these will not request personal information, make threats or demand money,” the press release said.
The circuit court warned residents if they receive such calls or texts and gave out personal information to watch their account statements and credit reports carefully.
“Jury service is such an important part of our democracy. We are grateful to those that serve their civic duties willingly and attentively. Hearing about scammers attempting to steal from jurors under false pretenses is disgusting. We hope this announcement will help protect such theft from happening,” said Lung Hung, Malheur County Circuit Court judge.
If any unauthorized charges are made, residents can report the theft to local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission at 877-438-4338.
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE – The Malheur Enterprise delivers quality local journalism – fair and accurate. You can read it any hour, any day with a digital subscription. Read it on your phone, your Tablet, your home computer. Click subscribe – $7.50 a month.