Jury Duty Scam

A new type of scam has surfaced that uses bullying tactics to get you to reveal identity information over the phone. Here is how it works:

The scammer calls claiming to work for the local court and states that you’ve failed to report for jury duty. They inform you that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. The victim will often rightly claim they never received the jury duty notification. The scammer then asks the victim for confidential information for “verification” purposes.  Specifically, they ask for the victim’s Social Security number, birth date, and sometimes even for credit card numbers and other private information — exactly what the thief needs to commit identity theft!

So far, this jury duty scam has been reported in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington state and right here in Colorado.  It’s easy to see why this works and any scams that rely on the victim feeling distress. The victim is clearly caught off guard, and is understandably upset at the prospect of a warrant being issued for his or her arrest. So, the victim is much less likely to be vigilant about protecting their confidential information.

You must remember that court workers, banks, government officials, etc will never call you to ask for social security numbers and other private information. In fact, most courts only use snail mail and rarely, if ever, call prospective jurors.

The lesson to be learned here is never give out your Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information when you receive a telephone call. This jury duty scam is the latest in a series of identity theft scams where scammers use the phone to try to get people to reveal their Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information.  It doesn’t matter why they are calling — all the reasons are just different variants of the same scam.

Protecting yourself is easy if you remember that there is never a reason to give sensitive Identity Information out over the phone.

John Sileo speaks professionally to organizations that wish to avoid the costs associated with identity theft, data breach, social media exposure and insider theft. His satisfied clients include the Department of Defense, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the FDIC, Pfizer and hundreds of corporations of all sizes. Learn more about his entertaining and effective presentations on identity theft, data breach and fraud training or contact him directly on 800.258.8076.