Jury duty call might be ID theft ruse

SCAM WATCH

January 27, 2008|By DAN THANH DANG

Local and federal law enforcement agencies are warning consumers about a jury duty scam that attempts to steal your identity.

In the scheme, someone posing as a court officer calls to inform you that you've missed a summons for jury duty and that there is a warrant issued for your arrest.

When you protest that you never received the summons, the caller will then ask for your Social Security number and date of birth or ask you to verify personal data, such as credit card account numbers, to cancel the arrest warrant.

It's easy to be scared by such intimidation tactics, but you should never share your personal information with anyone you don't know. Should the caller insist that you verify data, make them share their notes with you so that you can verify their records and not vice versa.

Keep in mind that it's extremely rare for court personnel to call you about jury duty. In almost all cases, a summons for jury duty will be mailed to your home.

The scam, according to the Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters Association's Web site, has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois and Colorado. The Harford County sheriff's office also recently issued an alert to residents about the scam. - Dan Thanh Dang

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