Officials issue warning about jury duty phone scammers in Delaware

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn and the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Unit are warning residents on Friday about scam calls regarding jury duty being made to residents.

The D.O.J. and other agencies alerted the public to the scams previously, but they have reportedly gotten continued reports of them happening, including recently in Sussex County.

In the scam, officials say that the consumer is told over the phone that they did not report to jury duty and that a sheriff will arrest them or that a warrant will be issued. The consumer is then reportedly told that they can pay a fine and that the caller will not send the sheriff to get them.

There are some signs that these calls are a scam. Residents eligible for jury duty are always given notice about their obligation to serve jury duty by mail; never by telephone and the sheriffs in Delaware reportedly do not have arrest powers.

The Attorney General says that consumers should be conscientious about suspicious phone calls by:

  • Checking with the Superior Court to see whether you have been summoned if the phone call regards jury duty by calling Superior Court Jury Services at 302-255-0800 for New Castle County, 302-735-1901 for Kent County, and 302-855-7055 for Sussex County.
  • Never agreeing to pay any fine or other money over the phone.
  • Not answering calls from unknown numbers or unfamiliar persons
  • Hanging up on aggressive callers, especially those who threaten you with arrest.

The Attorney General is encouraging people who believe that they may have been scammed to call the toll free Consumer Hotline at 1-800-220-5424 or email the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at consumer.protection@state.de.us. If you receive a call but have not paid any money to the scammers, you can report the phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry and file a complaint here.

Officials say that if you are an adult Delaware resident, a registered voter, have a Delaware driver's license or state ID card, and are a U.S. citizen, you may be called for jury duty in Delaware. Consumers should always be diligent about their duty to serve as a juror, and, when summoned, show up as required. Consumers who are unsure whether they have missed a summons to jury duty, can and should call Jury Services at their Superior Court in their county using the numbers above.

Categories: Delaware, Local News