MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Mecklenburg County is warning residents about a scam involving jury duty.

According to county officials, residents have received scam phone calls from someone acting as law enforcement.

The caller tells the resident that they failed to show up for jury duty an order has been issued for their arrest, and that they need to pay a large fee using gift cards to avoid arrest or jail time.

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In North Carolina, jury summonses are issued by U.S. mail. Failing to appear for jury service DOES NOT prompt fines via telephone or email. Any phone call stating that a warrant has been issued for your arrest due to not reporting for jury duty is a scam.

“We want to make sure our residents are aware so they can protect themselves,” Sonya Harper, Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services Director, said. “It’s disheartening that some individuals are choosing to manipulate such an important civic duty.”

Scammers can be very convincing and often have the resident’s name and address. They will also use the name of a real judge or law enforcement officer, refer to local locations to make the call seem legitimate, and even fake the phone number of the courthouse or Sheriff’s Office.

If you receive a call like this, you’re urged to HANG UP immediately without providing any information about yourself or taking action.

You can confirm if you have been selected for jury duty or failed to appear by contacting the Mecklenburg County Clerk of Court.

Any suspicious calls or emails can be reported to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Victims can also report them to the N.C. Attorney General’s Office or call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.