Adams County warns of jury summons scam

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By The Staff

BRIGHTON — If you get a phone call about jury duty, it may not actually be tied to any actual civic duty expected of you.

The Adams County District Attorney’s Office issued an advisory last month urging residents to beware of phone calls from people claiming to be calling about you failing to show up for jury duty.

According to the advisory, Adams County law enforcement officials are reporting a resurgence of calls as part of a scam in which callers attempt to obtain payment or personal information for identity theft by claiming to represent the court.

Callers claim that they are with the jury commissioner’s office and are calling because they purport you have failed to show up for jury duty. When you object that you never received a summons, they ask to confirm information about your full name, address, birth date and Social Security number.

In obtaining that information, the scammers have effectively stolen an identity and can then use the data to make unauthorized charges on your credit cards and empty your bank accounts.

In another version of the scam, callers identity themselves as court officials and say the arrest warrant and fine for failing to show up for jury duty can be cleared up by purchasing prepaid debit cards.

Former Adams County Commissioner Pam Shibau said a woman recently told her about such a call in which the woman was told a warrant would be issued for her arrest because she failed to show up for jury duty. The caller said the warrant would be issued by 5 p.m. unless the woman purchased Green Dot Money Paks for $875.50.

After purchasing the prepaid debit cards, she was to call a number and give information that would allow the cards — and the cash — to be accessed. The woman went to Walgreens to purchase the Money Paks as instructed but was told by the store clerk that she should go to the police because it sounded like a scam.

According to the advisory, no one from the court system will ever ask you for your Social Security number over the phone or by e-mail and will never insist that money be wired or sent to avoid immediate arrest. Residents should never give this kind of information out if you did not initiate the phone call.

If you get a call like this, contact local law enforcement or the Judicial Department at 720-625-5000. You also may call the Colorado Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection at 800-222-4444.