HARRISBURG — Prank phone calls and text messages informing residents that they’ve missed jury duty and are subject to penalties have commonwealth officials concerned.
Court Administrator of Pennsylvania Zygmont Pines is urging residents to be on guard against the prank.
Several instances have occurred in which a victim received a phone call or text message from a friend or family member who claim they saw the victim’s name in the local newspaper for failing to appear at jury duty, according to the court administrator’s office.
The victims were asked to call a phone number, and a recorded message informed them that because they failed to appear for jury duty, they face a $500 fine or a 30-day jail sentence, according to the administrator.
At the end of the recorded message, the victim was informed that the call was only a hoax and should be forwarded to others.
The court administrator said the prank causes confusion and undue work for court employees fielding calls.