Scam of the day – March 9, 2017 – New variation of the jury duty scam

The jury duty scam is a scam that has been used effectively for years by scammers to con people out of their money.  The scam starts with a telephone call that you receive purportedly from a law enforcement officer informing you that you have failed to appear for jury duty and that a warrant has been issued for your arrest.  You are told, however, that you can avoid arrest and greater fines by paying a fine through a credit card or or prepaid cash card.  Of course, the phone call is a scam.  Even if you have missed jury duty, you will never be called by legitimate court officers and shaken down for a payment.

Now, however in a new twist on this old scam, the City of Emmett, Idaho is warning people about a scammer who, when he was initially unsuccessful in persuading his intended victims to make a payment to him under the threat of arrest, called the local sheriff’s office posing as his intended victim and threatening to shoot any law enforcement officer who came to his home.  Ordinarily, this might have prompted a visit from the sheriff’s office which could have been used to scare the victims into making the demanded payment.  Fortunately, the sheriff’s office had already reported the scam to the sheriff’s office so that they knew when they got the call from the scammer that it was not a legitimate phone call.

TIPS

Initial contacts from the courts regarding jury duty are always in writing through the mail although some systems will permit you to receive future notices through email.  Under no circumstances will you receive telephone calls or text messages indicating that you have failed to report for jury duty.  No court will demand payment over the phone for failing to appear for jury duty.  If you do receive such a call and you think that there is even the possibility that you might have forgotten to report for jury duty, merely call the local clerk of courts in order to  get accurate information.

Scam of the day – January 26, 2016 – Jury duty scam with a twist

I have been warning you about the jury duty scam for more than three years.  The scam involves a telephone call that you receive purportedly from a law enforcement officer informing you that you have failed to appear for jury duty and that a warrant has been issued for your arrest.  You are told, however, that you can avoid arrest and greater fines by paying a fine through a credit card or or prepaid cash card.  Of course, the phone call is a scam, even if you have missed jury duty, you will never be called by legitimate court officers and shaken down for a payment.

Now, however in a new twist on this old scam, federal prosecutors in Georgia have indicted 51 people who, it is alleged were operating jury duty scams from inside the Autry State Prison where the prosecutors say prison inmates made the calls on cellphones smuggled into the prison by guards and other prison officials who were a part of the scam.

TIPS

Initial contacts from the courts regarding jury duty are always in writing through the mail although some systems will permit you to receive future notices through email.  Under no circumstances will you receive telephone calls or text messages indicating that you have failed to report for jury duty.  No court will demand payment over the phone for failing to appear for jury duty.  If you do receive such a call and you think that there is even the possibility that you might have forgotten to report for jury duty, merely call the local clerk of courts where you can find accurate information.

Scam of the day – September 7, 2012 – Jury duty scam

This is one of the old reliable scams that seems to be making a reappearance recently.  It starts when you receive either a telephone call, a text message or an email indicting that you have not reported for jury duty and that there is a serious penalty.  In some forms of the scam, you are able to pay a fine rather than go to jail.  In other variations of the scam, you are told that if the notice is mistaken, you should contact the jury commissioner at a phone number to provide information to confirm that the notice was sent to you in error.  The information you are asked to provide includes your Social Security number and as soon as you provide it, you are on the road to identity theft.

TIPS

Initial contacts from the courts regarding jury duty are always in writing through the mail although some systems will permit you to receive future notices through email.  Under no circumstances will you receive telephone calls or text messages indicating that you have failed to report for jury duty.  No court will ask for your Social Security number as a part of the information you provide them in regard to jury duty and NEVER give your Social Security number or any other personal information to anyone whom you have not called at a telephone number that you are absolutely positive is correct.  If you do receive such a notice and you think that there is even the possibility that you might have forgotten to report for jury duty, merely call the local clerk of courts where you can find accurate information.

Scam of the day – July 16, 2012 – Jury duty scam

Some scams keep repeating and with good reason – they work.  Jury duty scams have been with us for many years and they continue to be an effective scam.  They start when you receive a telephone call or a text message informing you that you have failed to report for jury duty and you are at risk of a substantial fine or even arrest.  You are given a number to call and when you do, the scammer then tells you he or she needs to confirm your personal information including your Social Security number.  Some particularly blatent scammers will even ask for your credit card number.  Why you would need that to confirm your identity for jury duty purposes is hard to imagine.  Anyone who provides the information requested will become a victim of identity theft as the information is used to obtain credit, goods and services in the name of the victim.

TIPS

Courts will not contact you by the phone or a text message.  Never give your personal information to anyone whom you are not sure is legitimate.  If you have a question about jury duty, call the number for the court that you know to be accurate, not the one that is provided to you by the scammer.