The Augusta Police are warning residents about a phone scam where people are getting called and threatened with arrest for missing jury duty, and the only way to avoid arrest is to pay a "fine."

In a posting on the department's Facebook page, police said that anyone contacted by someone claiming to be from the Kennebec County Sheriff's Department demanding payment for missing jury duty should ignore the call.

This is not the first time a scam like this has been tried in Maine. Maine's Judicial Branch website, which has an section entitled "Exemptions, Excuses, and Deferrals" outlining the reasons for which a person may be excused from jury duty, also has a "Jury Scam Warning" from 2014, describing a similar scam to the one discussed by the Augusta PD.

In the warning, spokeswoman Mary Ann Lynch said a York County resident was defrauded of $1,000. Lynch added that at no time will a legitimate court representative call demanding payment of a fine for missed jury duty.

“The Maine Judicial Branch wants to remind Maine people that the courts' collection practices do not include telephone or email contact, and that no one working for Maine courts or the sheriff’s department will request credit card, social security numbers, or other personal information either over the telephone or by email. Nor will they appear at your home looking for money. If someone does owe a court or traffic violation fine, they may receive a U.S. Postal Service letter, an arrest warrant may be issued, or their tax refund will be reduced by the amount of the debt owed to the state. They will not, however, receive a phone call or an email, nor will they even be asked for money at their home. People should not be giving personal information over the telephone or by email, and if they have a question about the authenticity of the request, they should call the local courthouse and speak to the court clerk and, of course, notify local law enforcement. ”