Officials at the 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida say the Broward County jury duty scam they warned residents about in April is still going strong, and that residents are also being targeted in a second type of con.
"It's more than a dozen cases since then," Iris Siple, the clerk of court's chief administrator who is also a commissioner in Pembroke Pines, said about the jury duty scam.
It goes like this: Residents receive a fake jury summons, are told to make a payment to the sender and they'll be reimbursed by a judge at the courthouse.
But that's not going to happen, authorities said. And if you send money, it will likely be lost, unless you have used a credit card and the company can act fast to cancel payment to the fraudsters.
"One [victim] able to retract an $850 payment (from their credit card company)," Siple said.
In the second scam, victims are receiving a fake notice or summons to appear for a pretrial conference at a courthouse in Deerfield Beach.
No shows are in danger of a "default judgment," the fake notice says. It advises, in a hand-written warning, that to avoid a court proceeding, payments will be accepted at New York City phone number with a 212 area code.
Typically the court proceedings are for fake cases that the victim will know nothing about, officials said. Two of the fake summons supplied by the court asked for a couple of hundred dollars each.
The form lists a judge's name in illegible handwriting that doesn't match the name of any judge who serves in the Broward circuit.
When I called the New York City phone number on the fake notice, a woman who answered said she worked at a furniture store but would accept payment and asked for the account number listed on the form.
Officials say they don't know how many people have been targeted or may have paid money, when they should have ignored the solicitation.
Siple wants residents to be aware of these fake letters and asks anyone who contacted this way to call her office at 954-831-7173.
Siple also asks anyone who receives a document that has them wondering about its authenticity to fax it to her, at 954-831-7619.
The forms can also be mailed to her at the main Broward County courthouse at 201 SE 6th Street, Room 136, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33301.
The Broward sheriff's office is investigating and will also be interested in seeing the notices that are being received by county residents.
Ltrischitta@Tribune.com, 954-356-4233 or Twitter @LindaTrischitta