Augusta police are using their Facebook page to warn that swindlers might call to say you’ve missed jury duty, there’s a warrant for your arrest and only a prepaid card can prevent that occurrence.

Pay no attention.

“Do not call them back and do not attempt to send them money,” the posting says.

The callers say they are calling from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. Augusta police say they’ve heard from a number of people who received such calls and that the sheriff’s office has received similar complaints.

Mary Ann Lynch, government and media counsel for the state court system, said via email Tuesday, “If someone does not show up for jury duty we generally will issue another order to appear. A warrant for failure to appear can be issued but it is a somewhat extraordinary event. I think the most important thing I want to communicate to the public is that someone from the courts will never call and ask for payment over the phone. All our communications of this nature are in writing.”

The Maine Judicial Branch’s website has information about jury service, including a section on “Exemptions, Excuses, and Deferrals.”

It says, in part, “The court has the authority to excuse individuals from jury service upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, public necessity or inability to render satisfactory jury service because of physical or mental disability.”

It also says those 80 an over can be excused if they do not wish to serve.

The site also carries a “scam warning” from August 2014 describing essentially the same scam Augusta police are warning about and indicates that a York County resident was defrauded of $1,000 in that scam.

Augusta police also posted a notice saying they’ve seen another scam reprised as well. That one involves calls from people claiming to be Internal Revenue Service agents and demanding payment. In one case in Benton, a resident was scammed by a caller who demanded that the call recipient pay $1,000 in iTunes gift cards to avoid being arrested for nonpayment of taxes.

Again, pay no attention, police say.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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