BARTOW, Fla. (970 WFLA) – Polk County Clerk of Courts Stacy Butterfield warns residents of jury-related scams that are circulating the area.
Officials say residents are receiving threatening calls that there’s a warrant for their arrest because they failed to appear for jury duty. Scammers tell residents they must pay a fine or provide personal information to avoid arrest.
Recent callers claimed to be officials from the Clerk of Courts office or Sheriff’s Office, officials said, but Clerk Butterfield cautions they could also pose as officials from other agencies.
“First and foremost, never provide personal information to an unfamiliar source,” Clerk Butterfield said. “Scams continue to target our community and play-off people’s intimidation of law enforcement and the court system. It’s important to scrutinize every inquiry, no matter what agency it claims to come from. Hang up or delete a message immediately if there’s suspicion of fraud, and contact the organization through its official phone number to verify the previous communication.”
Arrest warrants are not issued for failure to report for jury duty, authorities said. If a resident does not appear for duty, officials said the individual receives a failure to appear notice in the mail from Chief Judge William Bruce Smith, Tenth Judicial Circuit.
The Clerk’s office said it does not call residents to verify information related to jury duty, nor will any other agency. Official communications are sent by mail.
Residents can search active arrest warrants on the Sheriff’s website at www.polksheriff.org, but should contact the Sheriff’s office for official confirmation.
If residents encounter scams, they should write down as much information about the encounter as possible, and contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200.