Most people take a court summons for jury duty very seriously. When most citizens receive a notice to report for duty, they take the day off work or school and head to the court house. However, enough people skip out on their civic duty, that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.
In what is known as a “jury duty scam”, the fraudulent caller claims to be a jury coordinator or another officer of the court. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks for personally identifiable information so they can check to see if you have an arrest warrant. Usually, the scam artist asks for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Once the caller has this information, they have all they need to begin the process of stealing your identity. They can apply for credit cards, loans, open bank accounts and more.
The jury duty fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois , and Colorado . This type of scheme 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud. Beware and remember, never give out personally identifiable information over the phone.
For more information, go to http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm.
Learn more about other Frauds, Scams and Schemes.