Most of us take those summons for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty, that a new and ominous kind of scam 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 just got stolen. The scam has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois and Colorado. This (scam) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they’re with the court system.
The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.
For Immediate Release
September 28, 2005
FBI National Press Office
TELEPHONE FRAUD INVOLVING JURY DUTY
Washington, D.C. – The FBI today is providing a warning to the public against an ongoing scheme involving jury service. The public needs to be aware that individuals identifying themselves as U.S. court employees have been telephonically contacting citizens and advising them that they have been selected for jury duty. These individuals ask to verify names and Social Security numbers, then ask for credit card numbers. If the request is refused, citizens are then threatened with fines.
The judicial system does not contact people telephonically and ask for personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth or credit card numbers….[–more–]