For more than a decade, the jury duty scam has remained one of the most successful impostor schemes. Fraudsters not only get a quick payoff but also may gather enough personal details for future identity theft. Have you ever encountered this scam?
How It Works:
It starts with a phone call, and a claim that you face imminent arrest because you didn’t report for jury duty. This call may seem authentic, with your caller ID showing a phone numbers for a courthouse or law enforcement agency, and the con artist citing names of actual police and judges. The aim is to startle you into making the desired response: “What?! I never received a jury duty summons!”
To avoid arrest, the caller says, you can pay a fine (typically requested in the form of a prepaid debit or gift card). And to verify he’s called the correct violator, the swindler asks to confirm your identity by soliciting personal information, including your name, birth date, Social Security number and other ID theft-worthy details.
What You Should Know:
Authentic jury duty notifications, as well as “no show” summonses, are nearly always delivered by mail. In rare instances, the courthouse may call prospective jurors, but only after a jury duty summons was mailed but returned as undeliverable.
Court officials won’t call asking for personal information such as your Social Security number, birth date or driver’s license number.
Legitimate law enforcement officials never call warning of an impending arrest – about missing jury duty or any other infraction.
Caller ID can be manipulated to display the name and phone number of any agency or business, so it’s not a reliable source of information.
What You Should Do:
Hang up without providing any information about yourself.
If you get a call like this and have concerns, look up the courthouse phone number (don’t rely on caller-provided numbers) and verify missed jury allegations with the court.
Call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360 for help if you have a question about calls like this or if you have been victimized.