July 19, 2017
Davis, Court Communications Director, (515)725-8058 or
Jury Scam Reported in
Des Moines, July 19, 2017 —The Polk County Sheriff's Department and the Polk
County Clerk of District Court received reports of a jury scam currently in
operation in Polk County.
the scam, the perpetrators of the scam call the victim and falsely claim to be
from the Polk County Sheriff's Department or a local police department wanting
to verify the victim's home address. The caller then informs the victim that
there is a warrant out for his or her arrest for failure to appear for a jury
service. The caller gives specific amounts owed to the courts, in one case $494
(fine), $494 (contempt of court) and $189 (warrant processing fee).
caller instructs the victim to get a money order at the nearest bank or
convenience store and call a local phone number for further instructions. The
victim is told to complete this before 4:30 p.m. on the day of the call so he
or she can meet someone at the Polk County Courthouse to handle the matter
without being arrested.
public should be aware that the phone calls and notices are a scam. People who
fail to appear for jury duty are not contacted by telephone. Also, law
enforcement officers do not collect fines and fees. Fines and fees can only be
paid to the clerk of courts office, by mail or by walk in, or on the secure ePayment system on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at https://www.iowacourts.state.ia.us/ESAWebApp//EPayment/EPaymentSearchFrame.jsp.
variation of the scam involves notices sent to the victim stating that there is
a warrant for his or her arrest because the victim did not show up for jury
duty. The notice includes a telephone number to call. According to reports, the
person who answers the phone falsely claims to be with a local law enforcement
agency and tells the victims that he or she can pay a fine to avoid arrest.
If you receive calls or notices similar to these, DO
NOT follow the instructions given. Please call the Polk County Courthouse Jury
Management at (515) 286-3769 to have any jury duty questions answered or
contact Polk County Sheriff's Department Dispatch at (515) 286-3333 or your
local law enforcement agency to report the receipt of these types of calls. Be
diligent and aware that there are individuals that will represent themselves
under false pretenses for personal gain.
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