Jury Duty Phone Scams Continue to Circulate Albany County
Albany County Clerk of District Court Janice Sexton is warning Laramie residents of a phone scam circulating Laramie and to not give out personal information over the phone.
Sexton says a number of Laramie residents have reported being contacted over the phone by an individual claiming to be from the Albany County District Court. Sexton says the caller claims residents have missed jury duty and need to pay large fines to avoid trouble. She says the scammers are even using the names of local District Court employees.
“They have also been claiming to be a police officer, and I am not sure if they are using the actual names of our police or sheriff or not, but they are using the actual name of one of my staff,” Sexton said. “That hits a little close to home and they’ve got our names.”
The main indicator Laramie residents can use to determine if the call is a scam is whether the caller asks for money, which Sexton says is something the District Court would never do.
“Number one, first and foremost, we will never, ever ask for money. Never,” Sexton said. “If that subject comes up, no matter what kind of threats they have been giving these people, we would never ever do that.”
Sexton said the court notifies residents when they are in the jury pool and are highly unlikely to not know that they have been summoned for jury duty.
“If you are in the jury pool, you will know it, because you will have received a jury questionnaire, you will have returned it and then you are not contacted unless we have a jury trial come up,” Sexton said.
Sexton said the court calls by phone when a person is summoned to appear for jury duty. If a person does not appear, she says the court would send a sheriff’s deputy to collect them.
“I would say, if worse comes to worse and you just don’t know, just hang up and call my office or the sheriff’s office,” Sexton said.
Sexton said the scams are increasingly convincing and residents need to be wary. The most recent report of the scam was Thursday, Oct. 20. Sexton said the scammer got $400 out of the victim before the call ended. This caller, Sexton said, claimed the clerk of court was behind on paperwork and the jury pool had not received notification, had missed jury duty, and had to pay fines.
Sexton said the jury questionnaires, for municipal, district and circuit court, were sending their jury questionnaires on the first part of the year.
“After you get that questionnaire and send it back in, you would never hear another word from us unless it was to show up for a jury trial,” Sexton said. “We will never ask for money. There are no courts in this country that are going to ask for money to buy you out of jury duty.”