By Doryn Glenn

The State Bar of Texas Jury Service Committee is warning the public against criminals that would seek to make them victims of scams that are becoming increasingly common.

Individuals, pretending to be local law enforcement officers, are calling citizens stating that they have failed to appear for jury duty or some other court proceeding. These individuals go on to claim that a warrant has been issued for the citizen’s arrest and/or a large sum of money is owed as a fine for failing to appear.

Scams such as this have been reported throughout Texas and in other parts of the United States in the last few years; however, they seem to be more prevalent in recent months. The perpetrators of these scams encourage their victims to obtain a payment card and provide the pertinent numbers from the card to them over the phone. This allows the payment to be made without a face-to-face meeting.

No court official or member of law enforcement would ever contact a citizen to make arrangements for the payment of any fine by telephone. Any formal notification of an arrest warrant or fine would come in written form on the letterhead of the office sending the notification.

The Jury Service Committee encourages any citizen who receives a suspicious call to hang up and notify their local law enforcement agency immediately.

Doryn Glenn, chief deputy district clerk for the Galveston County District Clerk’s Office, is a member and former chair of the State Bar of Texas Jury Service Committee.