BBB: Jury summons scam popping up in the Coastal Bend

Posted at 11:35 AM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 13:33:31-05


Recently, the Kleberg County Sherriff’s Department began receiving calls about a possible jury summons scam. Someone who was apparently posing as a federal or county employee was contacting residents and threatening them with jail for supposedly missing jury duty.


The remedy?


Avoid jail time by immediately paying a hefty fine.


Sadly, many scam artists will use holidays — like, as in this case, President’s Day — to make this type of call because federal and county offices are typically closed, and it is difficult to verify whether the contact is on the up-and up.


The Better Business Bureau urges those who may not be sure about the truthfulness of the information coming from the other end of a phone line to keep the following in mind:


Do not trust a phone call. Most contact from a court will come through the U.S. mail, and any calls by real court officials will not ask for personal information. If law enforcement contacts you, always ask for police identification or credentials so that you can verify their identity.


Do not give out personal information. Jury duty notifications will never ask for your personal information, so be suspicious of someone who asks for your Social Security number or date of birth to confirm your identity for a jury summons.


Do not wire money. Wiring or transferring money should always raise a red flag, because police will never ask for payment over the phone. 


Do not give out credit card information. Any time someone on the phone states that you will go to jail if you son not pay immediately, hang up. If you really have missed jury duty, you will be notified by mail and given time to respond. 


Got a question for the BBB? Contact Regional Director Kelly Trevino at or call (361) 852-4991.