Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jury Duty Scam

This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below). Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.

The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and "bingo" - your identity was just stolen.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado. This swindle is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Check it out on the FBI page: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm

And on SNOPES: http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp

Reminder & good advice from SNOPES:

Do not give out bank account, social security, or credit card numbers over the phone if you didn't initiate the call, whether it be someone trying to sell you something or someone who claims to be from a bank or government department.
If such callers insist upon "verifying" information with you, make THEM READ THEIR DATA TO YOU, and you can say yes or no to confirm, rather than the other way around.

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