San Diego Superior Court Warns Public about Scams

Dec 07, 2023
Jury Duty Scam Alert

The San Diego Superior Court has received complaints about individuals trying to scam members of the public by pretending to be court officers or officials.

One such scam was described as follows: John Doe is called, via phone, by a person identifying himself as a member of the San Diego Police Department or San Diego Sheriff’s Office. The caller informs Mr. Doe that he failed to appear for jury duty and has been ordered to pay $300 for failing to appear and $485 for contempt of court and there is a warrant for their arrest. The fake officer tells Mr. Doe that if he fails to make these payments, he will be arrested. The scammer then gives Mr. Doe another date to appear for jury duty but states that they need to meet first so that Mr. Doe can pay his fine. Mr. Doe is instructed to go to a convenience store to get a money order because Mr. Doe is told the Court does not accept cash, checks or credit cards. Finally, Mr. Doe is told to bring the money and meet with the officer at the courthouse. Other individuals are told to report to the Sheriff’s Office, but to meet someone outside the office.

Another scam involves an individual identifying themselves as a court clerk calling someone and telling that person they have an outstanding warrant fine that will need to be paid in cash. Some individuals are informed to report to a courthouse and meet a court clerk at a kiosk in the courthouse.

“People need to know that the Court will not call someone on the phone to remedy a court issue or fine. The court will send you a written notice; it will not call you asking for money. In addition, the Court also accepts checks and credit cards so no one should be insisting you pay a fine in cash,” says Michael Roddy, Executive Officer of the San Diego Superior Court.

Those who receive such a phone call should simply hang up and, if the scammer persists, call their local law enforcement agency.