The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

September 22, 2012

Court cautions against phone hoax

SUNBURY — Residents are being warned about a rash of prank text and phone messages about jury duty that are circulating throughout the commonwealth. The messages come from friends or family and go something like this:

“Hey, your name is in the paper! The courthouse has your name on a failure-to-appear list. U missed jury duty. U need to call them ASAP. Here’s the number ... 704-319-xxxx.”

When you call the number, an automated, authoritative male voice gives a spiel about how the message “is an urgent notice from the National Justice Center ... you failed to appear for jury duty last Monday morning ... You are now facing either a $500 fine or a 30-day prison sentence, since it’s a Class 3 misdemeanor.”

The voice finally gives you three options: 1. Pay the fine, 2. Arrange to start serving your jail sentence or 3. Pass the message on to your “gullible friends” to prolong the hoax.

The Northumberland County courts, as well as courts around the state, report they’ve fielded a number of local inquiries from concerned citizens who have received the messages. “This prank is causing confusion and anxiety and has resulted in disruptions and undue work for court employees, which translates to a waste of tax dollars,” said Court Administrator of Pennsylvania Zygmont A. Pines. “Please don’t forward these messages if you receive one. Our focus needs to be on providing the efficient administration of justice for the commonwealth and its citizens.”

        o

On the same topic, be on the alert for scam calls from “court officers” saying you’ve been selected for jury duty or worse, that you have failed to report for jury duty and a warrant is out for your arrest.

You may say you never received a notice and the caller will say he needs some information to verify the situation — that information may be your birth date, Social Security number and even a credit card number.

Caught off guard and fearing arrest, people will often give the caller what he’s asking for, just to clear up the situation. What they end up with is theft of their identity, and sometimes their bank accounts.

“We will never call you for any personal information over the phone,” says Brandy L. Yasenchak, Northumberland County District Court administrator. If you have legitimately been selected for jury duty, you may be called “but not with an automated message,” Yasenchak says, and that will be followed up with something in writing and sent by mail.

If you somehow miss the first notice that you have been selected for jury duty, a second and third notice will be sent to you. If you still fail to respond, then that’s when you might expect to be warned of being fined.

Have questions about jury service? Call your county court administrator’s office. A complete listing of court administrators is available on the Pennsylvania Judiciary Web site at: www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/DCAs.htm.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.