Jury Duty Scam Returns... Again

Jury Duty Scam

Some folks make all kinds of claims to get out of jury duty. But don't believe a phone call claiming you're about to be arrested for ignoring your civic duty - especially if you never received a jury summons.

The jury duty scam is back. In recent weeks, this recurring ruse - first seen in Scam Alert in 2006 - has resurfaced across the U.S., prompting warnings by scores of officials and at least one federal judge.

In the latest wave of phony phone calls, scammers typically pose as police, claiming that you missed jury duty, and because of that, you face impending arrest unless a fine is immediately paid. The scammers usually demand you pay with a Green Dot MoneyPak card.

But some fraudsters stick with the traditional trickery of this scheme: Rather than demand a fine to avoid arrest, they purport to be calling from the courthouse in need of personal information - including your Social Security number -to "verify" whether you were called for jury duty. Of course the real purpose is gathering data for identity theft

In some states, if you skip out on jury duty you may be fined--expect that bad news to arrive via U.S. mail or a summons hand-delivered by a uniformed police officer. Or a bench warrant could be issued in your name, which could lead to your arrest during a routine traffic stop.

But the police never give advance warning by telephone of impending arrest nor personally solicit the payment of fines. And in rare cases where a legitimate court employee calls about scheduled jury duty, you will not be asked for sensitive information such as your SSN.

Photo by Douglas Muth/ Flickr.com


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