FBI warns of jury duty scam

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is urging residents to be on the lookout for a telephone scam related to federal jury duty.

Vida G. Bottom, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Honolulu Office, said residents should be aware of the scam that begins with a caller posing as a deputy who provides a name and a badge number in hopes of legitimizing the call. The impostor then advises the victims that they are delinquent from federal jury duty and will be arrested immediately.

In order to avoid arrest, the deputy advises the victim that they can pay a fine. They are instructed to go to Longs Drug Store and obtain a $500 “green dot” money order. The victim is also provided with a local telephone number to call with instructions on how to relay the numbers located on the back of the money order.

The people promoting the scam will provide names of federal judges, courtroom numbers, addresses, etc. in an attempt to make the scam believable.

The FBI emphasized that this is not protocol of the federal court system. People receiving these calls should not offer confidential information or provide personal identification over the phone. Any call claiming to be an official agency sending instructions or requiring payment should be verified with the source agency or organization.

If anyone should receive a call as described above, please contact the Honolulu FBI at (808) 566-4300.

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