Circuit court clerk warns of missed jury duty scam

Published 1:54 pm Friday, January 10, 2014

Chilton County Circuit Court Clerk Glenn McGriff is warning residents about a scam phone call circulating about missed jury duty in Chilton County.

“I am hoping to get the word out because this is not how we handle things for jury duty,” McGriff said. “We had a similar prank last year.”

McGriff said a Madison County resident reported receiving a call with a message from McGriff telling the individual they had failed to appear for jury duty in Chilton County.

McGriff said the message went on to say that due to the missed jury duty, the individual would have to pay $360 for not appearing and would have to get a prepaid money card to pay the fine.

“The individual went and got a money card and had the money sent to whoever called because they thought the call was legitimate,” McGriff said. “Since the message said I was the one who was calling they thought it was real.”

McGriff said requiring individuals to pay a sum of money for not appearing for jury duty is not the way his office handles business.

“I want to alert everyone to be aware of these people who are scamming individuals to get their money,” McGriff said.

McGriff said there are several signs to tell if the call is a prank including the telephone call itself.

“Our office never calls about missed jury duty,” McGriff said. “We send out a card and then we usually hear from you.”

Other signs include specific dates of when to appear for jury duty that does not fall on a Monday or asking individuals to pay a fine for not appearing.

“We don’t ask you to pay a fine for not appearing,” McGriff said.

McGriff said a similar scam circulated in June 2013 where a scam message started circulating regarding missed jury duty.

The scam was sent via text messages but did not use McGriff’s personal name.

“We have had these pranks before, but this time those who are calling are getting a bit bolder about it,” McGriff said. “It isn’t difficult to find my name and use it, but for people who don’t understand how we do things, they might think this is real. There are people out there who will do anything to make some money.”