Here's a new twist scammers are using to commit identity theft: the jury
duty scam. Here's how it works:
The scammer calls claiming to work for the local court
and claims you've failed to report for jury duty. He tells you that a
warrant has been issued for your arrest.
The victim will often rightly claim they never
received the jury duty notification. The scammer then asks the victim
for confidential information for "verification" purposes.
Specifically, the scammer asks for the victim's Social
Security number, birth date, and sometimes even for credit card numbers
and other private information -- exactly what the scammer needs to
commit identity theft.
So far, this jury duty scam has been reported in
Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota,
Oregon and Washington state.
It's easy to see why this works. The victim is clearly
caught off guard, and is understandably upset at the prospect of a
warrant being issued for his or her arrest. So, the victim is much less
likely to be vigilant about protecting their confidential information.
In reality, court workers will never call you to ask
for social security numbers and other private information. In fact, most
courts follow up via snail mail and rarely, if ever, call prospective
Action: Never give out your Social Security number,
credit card numbers or other personal confidential information when you
receive a telephone call. This jury duty scam is the latest in a series
of identity theft scams where scammers use the phone to try to get
people to reveal their Social Security number, credit card numbers or
other personal confidential information.
It doesn't matter *why* they are calling -- all the
reasons are just different variants of the same scam.
Protecting yourself is simple: Never give this info
out when you receive a phone call.
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