True or False Emails: Jury Duty Scam

Published Tuesday, January 13, 2009 2:28 PM
 Again, this email is “hot off the press” as far as my personal email account is concerned. One of my family members just emailed it to me. This email starts out with passing this to everyone in your address book because you could soon be affected by it. Of course, we will inform you at the end of this blog post, whether this is a true or false email.

You receive a phone call from someone who says that they are an officer of the court or a  jury coordinator and that because you never reported for jury duty, there is a warrant out for your arrest. If you tell the caller that you never received a summons to peform jury duty, then the caller will ask you for your Social Security number and date of birth so that they can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant out for you. (Hopefully, you do realize that you should never give this information to a caller—good, I knew you knew that). Once you are asked for this information, you need to hang up!

Anyway, this email is saying that this has happened in 11 states. The caller is very intimidating which is why people are providing their personal information over the phone. Many believe that they are with the court system.

Yes, this email is true and the FBI has provided a web page that addresses this matter in detail. They report on their website that “jury scams have been around for years, but have seen a resurgence in recent months.” They also state that over 12 states have been affected. They warn that court officers will never ask for confidential personal information by phone and most correspondence from them is by mail.

"They get you scared first," says a special agent in the Minneapolis field office who has heard the complaints. "They get people saying, 'Oh my gosh! I'm not a criminal. What's going on?'" That's when the scammer dangles a solution-a fine, payable by credit card, that will clear up the problem.

Remember to be very careful and do your research on what you read, see and hear. I will be back soon to write about the next in this series of true or false emails.

by parker
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