City of St. Paul Park 

on the Mississippi

Jury Scams

Across Minnesota, scammers are posing as federal court officials, law enforcement entities, and US Marshals as they call members of the public, allege that they or their family members have an active federal arrest warrant, and demand the immediate payment of fines to avoid arrest.

In this type of ruse, scammers frequently obtain a phone number through Google Voice, which allows people to create any phone number they want for themselves in any area code, so long as that number is not currently assigned to someone else. 

Prior to making a phone call, the scammer does a public records search so s/he can refer to the person by name and state the victim's home address.  The scammer either leaves a message or speaks directly to whomever answers the phone.  At this time, the scammer tells the potential victim that s/he is a Deputy United Sates Marshal or other law enforcement or court official and that it is urgent that the person immediately pay their fine to avoid arrest.  To appear more credible, the scammer may provide additional information, such as badge numbers, the names of federal judges and/or courthouse location to settle their debt. The scammer then tells the victim to meet him/her at the US Courthouse or other legitimate location to settle their debt.  This use of legitimate government address helps convince victims of the scammer's legitimacy. 

IN ALL CASES, the scammer ends up cancelling this meeting and instead tells the victim to purchase a pre-paid credit card and instructs the victim to provide the card and PIN number to him/her over the phone to satisfy the fine and eliminate the active warrant.  Once the scammer has both the card and PIN number, s/he has access to the victim's money. 

To read more details about this scam, download the news bulletin from the US Marshal's Office.

City of St. Paul Park, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park MN 55071