There have been reports of several nationwide imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers, or other law enforcement officials. During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. They then tell victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and read the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine.
Scammers use many tactics to sound credible. They sometimes provide information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges, and courthouse addresses. They may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller ID as if they are calling from the court or a government agency.
These phone calls are fraudulent and have no connection to either the United States District Court or to the United States Marshals Service.
Neither this Court nor any other law enforcement agency will ever call someone to request the payment of a fine over the telephone for failure to appear for jury duty. Typically, jurors who miss jury duty will be contacted by the Clerk’s Office and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear in court before a judge. Any fine for failure to appear for jury duty will be imposed by a judge during an open session of court, and the summoned juror will be given the opportunity to explain the failure to appear.
If anyone is contacted or has been contacted by someone requesting such payments, please do not make the payment and instead immediately contact the United States Marshals Service at 410-962-2220. For questions about jury service, including confirming whether you have been summoned for jury service, please contact the Clerk’s Office at 410-962-3090.