People in Maryland are being called and told to pay a fine over the phone for missing jury duty.
It's a scam.
The Maryland Judiciary on Friday issued a warning about calls that have surfaced in Prince George's County, where someone claiming to work for a circuit court has called residents saying they have been charged with contempt for not reporting to jury duty.
The caller refers to a judge by name and demands payment of a fine over the phone using a pre-paid credit card.
"The phone call is a scam and anyone receiving a call like this should hang up and disregard the call," the state court system said in a notice.
Maryland courts do not call residents and ask for fine payments over the phone. The system contacts residents about jury service by mail, and when there is an issue officials mail a notice with a court date.
If a penalty was assessed, a judge would assign the fine in person at the court hearing, the courts system said.
People can check their status as a juror or report suspicious jury duty phone calls by calling a circuit court jury office. More information on Maryland Courts can be found at http://www.mdcourts.gov. Information about how to recognize telephone scams is available at the Federal Trade Commission website: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams