Originally posted Monday, May 11, 2015
If you receive a suspicious document, phone call, or e-mail that purports to be from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, please call your local U.S. District Clerk's Office and report it as soon as possible. Please note that our office will never attempt to summon you for jury duty via e-mail or to collect a fine over the phone. Our jury summons includes a letter that invites you to respond online (or by mail) and provides instructions for doing so via the court's official website - www.txnd.uscourts.gov. Here are examples of some of the latest scams:
Fictitious Arrest Warrants
An arrest warrant bearing the court's name and/or seal that states you have committed a crime and that you may avoid arrest by paying money.
Fictitious Jury Telephone Calls
Nationwide telephone scam involving individuals claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers, or law enforcement officials seeking to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report to jury duty.
Warning: You should never pay a fine associated with jury service without verifying the validity of the fine through the U.S. District Clerk's Office, even if your Caller ID indicates the incoming phone number is one assigned to one of our offices, or the caller purports to be calling on behalf of one of the judges of this court. A representative of the court will never call and demand payment over the telephone. Any caller who threatens arrest because of failure to respond to a federal jury notice or summons and who then demands that payment be made over the telephone or at any location other than a U.S. District Clerk's Office is a fraud. Please be aware that this type of fraud has been reported in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
A telephone call from a caller who states that you may be prosecuted for failing to appear for jury service and then tries to obtain sensitive information from you over the telephone, such as a social security number, credit card number, and/or date of birth. Court personnel will never require you to provide sensitive information over the telephone. The U.S. District Clerk's Office will only ask you to provide information via the U.S. Mail or through this secure website.
Watch this video to learn more: Judiciary Warns Public About "Jury Phone Scam"
Fictitious Jury E-mail Notices
An e-mail that purports to relate to jury service and then provides a link to a non-judiciary website or form. Here are three examples:
Dear Prospective Juror 0150, It is the policy of the United States that all litigants in Federal courts entitled to trial by jury shall have the right to grand and petit juries selected at random from a fair cross section of the community in the district or division wherein the court convenes. It is further the policy of the United States that all citizens shall have the opportunity to be considered for service on grand and petit juries in the district courts of the United States, and shall have an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose.
As an American citizen, it is your civic duty to respond to a jury Summons and, if chosen, to serve as a juror. You have officially been invited so. Click here to fill out the Ejury Duty Form now. Sincerely, National EJuror Program.
You are summoned to appear for Jury Duty for a Federal Case. You are hereby notified your name was selected from current tax payers in your County, and that you need to appear within 3 weeks from now at the Federal Courthouse. Please bring two types of Identification with you, preferably your drivers licence as one of these. Note, if you do not appear, you will automatically be fined. Here is more information about the case, case number: LINK. (Please note that this example has been sent from an email address that appears to end in the .gov extension, but it is not a legitimate email address.)
Fictitious Emails About Phony Court Cases
The federal judiciary has learned of an email scam, in which emails purporting to come from federal and state courts are infecting recipients with computer viruses.
According to the Security Operations Center of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the emails are instructing recipients to report to a hearing on a specified day and time. The emails also instruct recipients to review an attached document for detailed case information. When the attachments or links in the email are opened, a malicious program is launched that infects the recipient's computer. Several state courts have reported similar schemes, and also are warning the public about potential viruses.
Unless you are actively involved in a case in federal court and have consented to receive court notifications electronically, you generally will not be served with court documents electronically.
Forged Documents Bearing the Court Seal and Fake Letterhead
A fictitious court document, such as an order or judgment, bearing a judge's forged signature and/or the court's seal. You can verify the authenticity of any court document by comparing it against the version maintained in the judiciary's PACER system or by contacting the U.S. District Clerk's Office.