Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jury Duty Phone Scam

This scam has been around for a while but it is the first I've heard of it so I figured that it will be new for most people and it's not going to go away as long as it works.

This is from the FBI report:

The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he'll need some information for "verification purposes"-your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number.

This is when you should hang up the phone. It's a scam.

You can find similar information on Snopes but I prefer reading this from the FBI site. They are closer to the source.

The FBI says that the "Jury Duty Scam" is just a variation on any phishing scam. The trick is to get you scared and then give you a way out that gives them what they need to clean you out.

You should almost never give your SSN over the phone. That's just asking for it. If you are asked for a SSN and you aren't sure enough to hang up the phone, give them a fake SSN. If they are a scammer, they will accept this and write it down. If you need to give it for a legit business (dealing with a bank or escrow company, for example), they will verify your information immediately and tell you that the SSN does not match.

If you think that you have been scammed or what to protect yourselves in case you might be scammed, try Identity Theft Shield.

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