The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has uncovered evidence of a series of bogus texts inviting recipients to perform jury service or delay it at cost.
The texts host a link to a scam website clad in UK Government branding which asks the target to confirm that they can perform the service, or to postpone jury service for six months at a fee of £34.99.
The texts are yet another scam hitting the public at a time of increased vulnerability due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Katherine Hart, Lead Officer at CTSI, said: “I am deeply concerned about this scam because the website accompanying it looks so real and designed with the most authoritative branding – the Government. Also, the fact that members of the public may be fined if they do not reply to an official jury summons may provoke panic in those who receive this fake message.
“An official jury summons will never ask you to pay a fee for postponing service. A real summons will ask you to confirm whether or not you can go and to explain your reasons for being unavailable. Any message mentioning exchanging money is a red flag and should be ignored.”