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Scammers target Tucson with 'missed jury duty' phone calls

Scammers are targeting Tucson residents with false claims of missed jury duty, instructing those contacted to purchase "Green Dot" cards and pay a "failure to appear" fine over the phone. Officials caution that they do not contact anyone who misses jury service via phone, but only by mail.

Anyone targeted by the scam calls should call the Jury Commissioner's Office (520-724-4222), to verify whether a jury summons is in effect, said Krisanne LoGalbo, a spokeswoman for the Pima County Superior Court.

"Someone falsely claiming to be a law enforcement officer or representative of the court has been calling Pima County residents advising they are being contacted because of their 'failure to appear' for jury duty," LoGalbo said.

"The caller can be quite forceful and threatening," she said, explaining that the scammers tell their targets to purchase a Green Dot prepaid card and provide the scammer with the PIN that allows them to access the funds on the card.

The callers are not from the Superior Court or the Pima County Sheriff's Department, she said.

"The public should be aware that the court and law enforcement officers will never contact a person by telephone or email and demand payment of a fine to avoid being arrested for failing to appear for jury service," LoGalbo said.

From the court's news release about the scam:

If a person does fail to appear for jury service, they may be mailed a notice card which would read:

Thanks to our donors and sponsors for their support of local independent reporting. Join Marcia Spark, Maria Diaz, and Diane C Taylor and contribute today!

FAILURE TO APPEAR NOTICE: Our records indicate you failed to appear as instructed for jury service on the date noted above.  SECOND SUMMONS NOTICE: You must immediately call the jury office at 724-4222 to reschedule your jury service.  Failure to contact the jury office may result in further action being brought against you by this Court as prescribed by Arizona law. WWW.SC.PIMA.GOV/JURY

If you receive a call from a scammer, you should file an online report with the Federal Trade Commission, LoGalbo said. Residents inside the city limits may also file a Tucson Police Department report by calling 520-791-4444, option #2. Pima County residents may file a fraud report by calling 520-351-4900 or 1-888-477-2328.

If you have lost money in such a scam, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency.

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