Identity Theft Scam Series - Jury Duty
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The jury duty scam has been around for quite a while, but it is still very successful. Why? The scam is amazingly simple, and it plays on the fear that you have broken the law and that you could be arrested.
So, what is this scam, and how do you protect yourself?
The scam starts with a phone call - a person pretending to be a court official calls and says that a warrant has been issued for your arrest since you did not show up for jury duty. He informs you that he is the jury coordinator and that skipping out on your civic duty is not taken lightly.
The caller knows you will protest that you never received the jury summons, that there is some kind of mistake. This falls right into the scammers plan. The scammer will say that they need to check their records to stop the warrant from being processed. They will ask for your social security number, and your date of birth. Once they have this information - the caller will act as if verifying the information and apologize for the administrative mistake. Guess what, your identity has just been stolen.
Be weary of ever giving out information over the phone when you are called by anyone that says they are a government official, (IRS, state tax administrator, jury coordinator) stay calm and ask for their number so you can call them back. Immediately verify the information via, online directory or your telephone book. You make the call, you check to see if the details being presented to you are valid.
The scam works well, it is simple, and it works well because people want to prove their innocence. The thieves know this and use this to their advantage.