Friday, January 16, 2009
Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Jury Duty Scam
Are identity thieves trying to trick people into revealing their personal information by telling them they’ve failed to report for jury duty?
The answer, according to several sources, is YES.
This is the subject of an e-mail that has been circulating since around 2005…the latest version, which I actually just received the other day, even provides a link to Snopes.com confirming that it’s true.
Here’s how it works: The scammer calls claiming to work for the local court, tells you you’ve failed to report for jury duty, and claims that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. When you say you never received jury duty notification, the scammer then asks you for confidential information for "verification" purposes.
The scammer will ask you for your Social Security number, birth date, sometimes even credit card numbers and other private information. The jury duty scam has popped up in several states.
Here’s what you need to know: court workers will NOT call you to ask for personal information because you’ve supposedly missed jury duty or even for screening purposes. ( In most cases, court workers won’t call you at all…most of the info you receive from them will be through the mail.)
Again…and we can’t say this enough…unless YOU initiated a call, do NOT give out those personal details to someone who claims to be from a government office, the bank, or even just someone who’s trying to sell you something. They’re probably just trying to get the information they need to commit identity theft.
Confirming another internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop…reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that “send” button!