County warns of jury scam phone call

By Glenn Battishill -

Delaware County officials report there’s a new scam involving calls from individuals posing as law enforcement demanding a fine from residents for allegedly missing jury duty.

The Jury Commission Office reported Monday that ithad been advised of a scam operating in Delaware County. According to Jury Commissioner Joseph Digenova, residents have been getting calls from persons impersonating law enforcement officers and accusing them of missing jury service. Then the caller tells the victim that a bench warrant has been issued for their arrest but says they can pay a fine to avoid going to jail.

Tracy Whited, the head of community and media relations at the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, said the sheriff’s office is typically the law enforcement agency that handles individuals who fail to respond to a request for jury duty. However, Whited said deputies serve a summons or warrant in person to the individuals and don’t call.

“Law enforcement does not call residents asking them to pay a fine for failure to appear for jury duty,” Whited said. “This is a scam. The caller will claim to be from the sheriff’s office or other police agency, and will ask you to send money to avoid going to jail or to avoid paying higher fines. Neither law enforcement nor the courts will ever call you asking for money.”

Whited also said that people should never provide personal information or money over the phone.

Likewise, the Jury Commission Office reports Delaware County residents who are summoned for jury service will receive a packet of information in the mail in advance of their report dates. The office also reports that they do not send emails asking for personal information such as credit card numbers, bank accounts or social security numbers.

Residents who receive these calls should contact the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 740-833-2800 (or dial 9-1-1) and provide them with the caller’s phone number and time/date of call. Alternatively, these calls can be reported to the Jury Commission office at 740-833-2558.

By Glenn Battishill

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.