Court Scams Continue to Target South Dakota Citizens

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

PIERRE – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that South Dakota citizens continue to be heavily targeted by two different types of telemarketing scams that use the court system as a means to construe urgency to their claims. Both scams include recorded phone messages that threaten the recipient with law enforcement action if the phone call is not returned. Once the call is returned the citizen is asked to provide personal identifying information including social security numbers and then they are instructed to obtain a Green Dot card to pay the penalty for being late.

"These scam artists are banking on an individual’s sense of fear for financial gain,” said Jackley. “Court and law enforcement officials do not call citizens asking for them to pay fines for failing to report to jury duty or any other court hearing.”

One of the recorded messages claims to be with the Clerk of Courts office and if a phone call is not immediately returned the consumer will be actively pursued at their place of employment and residence. The second recorded message claims that the individual has missed a summons for jury duty. The caller will ask for a Social Security number or other personal identifying information to verify jury information. They use the threat of arrest to convince trusting individuals to provide this information.

It is important for citizens to remember that the Court does no use email or phone solicitations to ask for private, sensitive, identifying information related to jury duty or any other court hearings. In very rare circumstances, the Court may call potential jurors, but if a call is made, the Court will already have the identifying information that is needed. If you have been a victim of this scam or need any additional information, contact the South Dakota Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or consumerhelp@state.sd.us.