Our View: No, Minnesota courts will not call about a fine for jury duty

From the editorial: "Always be on guard for a scammer preying on any victim they can."

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Anyone receiving a call from the Minnesota court system demanding payment for a fine for missing jury duty, beware: It’s a scam, one happening with such frequency that Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea sounded an alarm on it last week.

"Jury duty is an important civic duty. I commend citizens who report for jury service and urge Minnesotans to learn about and protect themselves from the potentially devastating consequences of these scams,” Gildea said in a statement to Minnesota news outlets, including the News Tribune Opinion page.

Bottom line: Minnesota courts will never call you about a fine and ask for a credit card number, suggest other payment options, or ask for your Social Security number or other personal information. Even if the Minnesota courts’ number has been “spoofed” so it looks like the call really is coming from the court system, it’s not. Always be on guard for a scammer preying on any victim they can.

Initial contact for jury duty will always be made by mail, Gildea also reminded.

This jury duty scam isn’t being attempted just in Minnesota. “The people conducting this scam can be persuasive,” Henry County, Virginia, Sheriff Lane Perry said in a TV news report in Roanoke earlier this month. “Citizens should always be hesitant to provide personally identifying information over the phone or via text message.”


Any Minnesotan receiving a suspicious call seeking payment or private data related to missed jury duty should immediately contact the county sheriff’s office, Gildea instructed. In Duluth, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office can be reached by dialing 218-726-2340; in Hibbing, by calling 218-262-0134; and in Virginia, 218-749-7134.

For more information about this scam or about jury duty in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Judicial Branch website at

And remember, scammers can be ruthless. So be suspicious. Be wary. Always.

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