The notifications, sent as text messages and e-mails, say residents have missed their scheduled jury duty and could be fined $500 or receive jail sentences of as much as 30 days, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported.
Court spokesman Charles Keller said it is not a scam and does not involve money, but it is upsetting residents. The only way the butts of the joke find out it is a prank is if they call the number on the message and listen to a recorded message.
"The message received by the caller sounds very convincing, and if the caller does not listen to the entire message, they will not be given the information that it is meant to be a joke," Keller said.
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