Montclair warns of jury duty scam
If you received a call from the “Montclair County Court” about jury duty service, it may be a scam.
On Thursday, Aug. 25, Montclair sent out an alert notice reminding residents to beware of potential online and telephone scams.
Recently, members of the community may have received emails or phone calls from correspondence of the “Montclair County Court” or a similar sender regarding an upcoming or recently missed jury duty service. This is a scam, officials said.
The emails will likely have a link or QR Code that requests receivers to scan, according to the warning. This is an attempt by impersonators to solicit your personal information and they will use this information to steal your identity and commit fraud, officials said.
Earlier this month, on Aug. 8, New Jersey Courts noticed this issue on the rise in the state and sent out an alert. "The New Jersey Judiciary does not and has never asked for personal identifiers over the phone, by email or in person," Glenn A. Grant, administrative director of the courts, said in the announcement.
In Montclair, the township is reminding residents of the same information – court or township officials will never ask for personal identifiers (such as date of birth, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or other sensitive information) over the phone or by email, nor will they ask for payment to avoid arrest for failing to report for jury duty.
The U.S. Postal Service conducts initial notifications to potential jurors. A real, official jury summons will include a return address to the Jury Management Office for the county in which it was sent. If a person receives an email or call, they should not provide any personal information, credit card numbers, prepaid cards or money to the requestor, officials said.
Montclair officials have offered the following four points of advice for people who are confronted with a potential scam
- Don’t give out personal or financial information over the phone or by email to a purported court official.
- Don’t respond to emails or call-back numbers in robocalls or voicemails about missed jury service. Look up and call the official number for a court or law enforcement agency to see if it has attempted to contact you.
- Don’t pay a supposed fine by wire or gift card. These types of payments are hard to trace or reverse.
- Don’t assume an email or call is legitimate because the caller ID says it comes from a court office or law enforcement agency. Scammers use spoofing technology to trick caller ID.
Residents that feel have been the victim of a scam, or that have concerns about being inappropriately contacted concerning jury duty, may contact the county jury duty manager as well as the Montclair Police Department at (973) 744-1234.