Cameron Co. Officials Warn of False Jury Duty Phone Calls

Posted: Feb 09, 2018 07:44 PM Updated: Feb 09, 2018 07:44 PM

BROWNSVILLE – A warning for anyone in Cameron County that’s been summoned to jury duty.

Several people have reported getting calls from an unknown person identifying themselves as a sheriff’s deputy. They say they’re demanding up to $1,000 from people, telling them they failed to appear for jury duty and they must pay a fine or risk getting arrested.

Sheriff Omar Lucio says the number to watch out for is 956-274-0900.

Under no circumstances, he says, will a sheriff deputy ever call a juror or anyone else demanding money.

Cameron County District Clerk Eric Garza tells us there’s a specific process for how a juror can be fined.

“We will never call you and tell you that you're going to be fined,” explains Garza. “A district judge is the only one that can issue a fine to a juror who fails to appear and that can happen in one of two forms: either a deputy will be sent to the house to pick them up or they'll get a letter either certified or registered mail telling them, 'Hey, you need to be here on this specific date.'"

Garza says each week about 500 people are summoned to jury duty. 

If anyone has a question about a notice or if they failed to report for jury duty, you can contact the Cameron County District Clerk’s Office at 956-544-0838.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS also reported Hidalgo County is warning of a similar scheme.

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