Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jury Duty Scam - Verified by the FBI

I received the following email yesterday from the Arlington Heights Police Department Citizen Alert. Many towns, in fact, have similar citizens alerts which you can sign up to receive at Citizen Observer.
Jury Duty Scam - Verified by the FBI

Many people have received a summons to appear for jury duty. Not everyone follows through on their civic duty. Criminals are using this fact as the basis for requesting sensitive information.

The caller identifies himself as an officer of the court or jury coordinator. They say that you failed to report for jury duty and an arrest warrant was issued. You explain that you never received a summons. To clear it up, the caller asks for verification information: date of birth, social security number and maybe even a credit card number. Hang Up! If you give this information away you may lose your identity and EVERYTHING that goes with it.

This scam's simplicity makes it effective. The threat of arrest catches the victim off guard and the ability to make the problem go away quickly by just giving some information is very inviting.

NEVER give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited phone call.

The bottom line is that only you can protect your personal information. Be alert and be proactive. If it smells a bit fishy, it probably is.

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