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ALERT ISSUED ON JURY DUTY PHONE SCAM

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the commissioner of jurors' office seeking your bank account number so he can send you a check after your upcoming jury duty, get his phone number if you can and then call the real jurors office, Erie County's jury commissioner said Wednesday.

Erie County Commissioner of Jurors Mehrl F. King said someone has been staging telephone scams about jury duty recently in Chautauqua, Seneca and Jefferson counties, seeking information about home addresses and bank accounts allegedly "for reimbursement purposes."

"No such solicitations by phone concerning jury duty are made by my office or anywhere else in the state," King said.

With jury duty paying $40 a day now, jurors' checks come directly from Albany and not from their local jurors offices, King stressed.

King also said there are no direct deposits to banks made on jury service checks, an issue that apparently also came up in the recent phone scams.

"We don't seek bank account information or home address information from prospective jurors," King said.

"At no time do we need or ask for personal bank information, and if anyone locally gets a call claiming to be from the commissioner of jurors' office and advising that they are being selected for jury duty and are eligible for reimbursement, they should try to get the phone number used," King said.

Though authorities haven't heard of any such scams in Erie County yet, King urges the public to phone his downtown Buffalo office at 854-5554 if residents get such calls.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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