The calls are coming in from a man who falsely identifies himself as “Lt. Steve Smith” with “badge number 8031” from the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport with the news they have failed to appear for jury selection and that there’s a warrant for their arrest. He gives a case number, then says a bond has been set and that they’re off the hook if they provide him with four Green Dot pre-paid $500 VISA cards.
The Clerk’s Office for the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut has learned of three people who’ve received the calls. In one instance, a victim purchased a Green Dot card and, at the caller’s direction, provided the card’s number to the caller.
The public is advised from the U.S. District Court that in all jury service-related calls never is it asked to provide any personal identification information or money to the caller. Furthermore Federal and state courts in Connecticut do not make calls to prospective jurors or ask for money or personal identifying information over the telephone.
Juror information for the U.S. District Court in Connecticut can be found at www.ctd.uscourts.gov. Those persons receiving a “Jury Duty Scam” phone call should report it, with any available Caller ID information, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Haven at 203-777-6311, or 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324).
U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly is urging individuals who receive phone calls from suspicious sources to never disclose personal identifying information, as it may be used to cause serious financial harm and jeopardize a person’s credit. “Identity thieves and scammers defrauding the public will be vigorously prosecuted when identified,” said Daly.