Back in 2005-2006 many reports circulated and told of scammers attempting to commit identity theft in many states. The fraudsters would call residents and use social engineering tricks to get information by sending people into a panic using a falsified claim of missed jury duty as the bait.
The hoax later resurfaced again in 2008-2009, although perhaps it has really never gone away. However in 2010 this oldie, but goodie, telephone scam has resurfaced once again, A report in February 2010 was made that this scam has been occurring in Kentucky.
While most scams today occur online, some of the most devious plots still rely upon the use of the good old fashioned telephone. The jury duty scam is one such scheme.
The way the jury duty scam works is an individual claiming to be an officer of the Court calls the home and declares the person has failed to report to jury duty and as a consequence a warrant has been sent out for their arrest.
This scare tactic is designed to catch the victim off-guard and hopefully surprise and cause enough fright where the victim is anxious to comply in order to get out of trouble and avoid arrest.
The scammer will continue to tell their target that in order for the summons to be withdrawn, they need to provide some additional information.
If you receive this call you can easily recognize it because they’ll ask for items such as your social security number, birthday, and perhaps some additional personal information. Once you’ve answered all the questions, they have the information they need to steal your identity.
However they might even take it a step further for immediate financial gratification. According to an FBI agent on the case back in 2006 states, “That’s when the scammer dangles a solution-a fine, payable by credit card, that will clear up the problem” (www.fbi.gov).
If you receive a call like this and are puzzled because you didn’t receive a notice for jury duty, there is a probable chance the reason you never received it was because none was ever issued. This is not what the fraudster is hoping for you to realize, instead they are hoping you are willing to answer any and all questions in order for the warrant to be recalled.
Don’t fall for it. This is a classic social engineer tactic. The scammer’s modus operandi is to instill fear by using scare tactics in order to extract personal information. This kind of scare tactic is common for social engineers who thrive on committing identity and financial theft against others.
To avoid becoming a victim of jury duty scam, it is important to know that no Court will contact you and ask for personal information over the phone. If they do need to contact you for any reason, you will receive an official letter from them mailed through the United States Postal Service.
What to do if you receive a call:
*Do not give out any kind of information
*Hang up, and if you have any questions of the validity, call the Court directly
*Report the incident to local authorities
Being forewarned is forearmed. Beware, the jury duty scammers are still out on the prowl.