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April 13, 2006:
A man called a Charles County woman on April 13. When her mother answered the phone, he told her he was a representative of the Court and he had sent her daughter a certified letter but she did not appear for jury duty. He began inquiring about the reason why, asking several medical history and work-related questions. The woman’s mother became suspicious and asked for a telephone number her daughter could reach him at. He provided a toll-free number and she asked for a local number. He then provided the phone number to the Office of the Circuit Court for Charles County. The woman called the local number and the Clerk’s office advised her they to not initiate phone calls about jury duty. They referred her to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office and the Clerk’s office are working in conjunction to address this problem. Detectives called the number and spoke briefly with someone who ended the call when the detectives inquired about the identity of the call taker.
Sheriff Davis and Clerk Hancock also want to remind citizens that the Clerk’s Office sends jury summonses by mail and not via telephone. Phone calls from someone who says he or she is a representative of the Clerk’s Office and is calling regarding reporting for jury service should not be considered authentic. Furthermore, when speaking with someone from the Clerk’s Office about jury duty, the Clerk’s Office would only ask for the caller’s name, address and juror identification number.
The Sheriff’s Office issued a warning about jury duty scams in September but at the time, no victims from Charles County had reported the incident. Anyone who receives a suspicious phone call should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 301-932-2222. Be sure to retain any caller identification records.