Jury Scams Reappear in Polk County
Bartow, Fla. (March 11, 2019) – Polk County Clerk of Courts Stacy Butterfield is warning residents that jury duty scams are once again targeting Polk County.
The scams usually come as either a fraudulent email or telephone call. Scammers typically impersonate Clerk employees, law enforcement or other government officials. They state the intended victim missed jury duty and must pay money or provide private information to avoid arrest.
Important tips to remember:
- Jury summons are sent by mail, never by email.
- The Clerk’s office does not call or email residents to request payment for missing jury duty. The office will also never demand payment via any sort of prepaid debit card or voucher.
- The Clerk of Courts does not call or email residents to verify information related to jury duty or to notify them that they missed jury duty. Communications are only sent by mail.
- If a resident misses jury duty, the individual receives a failure to appear notice in the mail from Chief Judge Donald G. Jacobsen, Tenth Judicial Circuit.
- Arrest warrants are not issued for failure to report for jury duty.
- Do not open an email attachment from an unfamiliar source, and never provide personal information to an unfamiliar source, either by phone or email.
- Residents can check if they’ve been called for jury duty online using the Jury Application System at www.polkcountyclerk.net/jury-duty.
- Residents can contact the Clerk’s Jury Department directly at 863-534-4568 or 863-534-4569.
“It saddens me to know that citizens are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals, especially through jury duty—the very cornerstone of our justice system.” Clerk Butterfield said. “Please don’t be intimidated and don’t fall for these scams, as elaborate as they may be. Scrutinize every inquiry, no matter what agency it alleges to come from. Hang up or delete a message immediately if there’s suspicion of fraud, and contact the organization through its official phone number to verify the communication. Please notify your neighbors, friends, families and especially the elderly that scams have increased in our community.”
If residents encounter scams, they should write down as much information about the encounter as possible, and contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200.
For more information, contact the Polk County Clerk of Courts office at 863-534-4000.