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Scams, scams, and more scams — Manatee Clerk warns of another jury duty scam

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Scam AlertManatee County Clerk Angelina “Angel” Colonneso is warning residents of a recent jury duty scam reported in the county.

According to the report, the scammer claimed a resident missed jury duty and now must pay a fine using prepaid gift cards. Then directed the resident to send the gift cards to the Sarasota County Clerk & Comptroller’s office.

This scam is not new. Similar scams in the past involved scammers calling jurors pretending to be law enforcement, threatening to arrest or embarrass them if payment was not made.

Colonneso says the Clerk & Comptroller’s Office will never initiate contact with a resident unprompted. A resident would have contacted the clerk’s office first.

Residents can guard themselves against jury duty scams using the following tips provided by Attorney General Ashley Moody:

  • Know that jury duty summons will come by mail, not by phone or email;
  • If no jury duty summons is received, then ignore a phone call from anyone claiming to be calling about jury duty;
  • Contact your local clerk’s office to see if there is a valid jury duty issue;
  • Never give personal or financial information over the phone to a stranger, especially if the caller acts aggressively;
  • Recognize that anyone asking for payments to be made through a gift card is a scammer, and
  • Be wary of Caller ID, as this can be spoofed, making a phone call look like it is coming from a real source.

Residents should always contact their clerk’s office with any concerns regarding their jury duty summons or jury duty service.

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