Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – Ocean County officials are warning residents to not respond to callers that threaten fines and jail time for failing to respond to jury duty.
Scammers have been making the rounds in Ocean County, threatening residents with warrants and jail time if they fail to appear for jury duty, said Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy.
He added similar calls were being made about violations of court mediation sessions.
Unfortunately, the scammers have created telephone numbers so they appear to be calling from the Ocean County Sheriff's Department and they also provide a number for a return call that while convincing, is also fake.
"The problem is such that these scam artists have developed a relatively sophisticated set up where our residents are fooled by the telephone numbers they are seeing and are frightened into paying the scammers," he said.
Mastronardy said he spoke to one of the people involved in the scam.
"We will do all we can to stop this and to inform the public about this," he said.
Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who is Director of Law and Public Safety, urged residents to be aware that scammers are everywhere nowadays and their means are getting more and more sophisticated.
"If the call doesn't sound legitimate or they are asking for payment hang up and independently confirm what they are saying or calling about," he said.
Potential jurists in Ocean County can call 732-506-5060 to verify whether they have been summoned to jury duty.
"If the call you are getting sounds suspicious it very well might be," Kelly said.
Court officials in Ocean County say the irony of this scam is that it is rare for potential jurists not to respond to jury duty in Ocean County.
In addition, Superior Court in Ocean County works with potential jurists should they have a scheduling conflict and cannot serve at the prescribed time.
"The best advice we can give people is to call the courts if you get this kind of a call," Mastronardy said. "We don't want our residents to be fooled and believe they will get a warrant for their arrest if they don't pay a fine."