Caution: New Method of Identity Theft
Fraudsters have developed a new method in order to obtained personal information from victims for identity theft. This new method has been labeled the Jury Scam. Fraudsters will call a victim claiming to work for the local court. The fraudster informs the victim that he or she has failed to report for jury duty, and a warrant has been issued for the victim's arrest. The victim will often rightly claim they never received the jury duty notification. The fraudster then asks the victim for confidential information for "verification" purposes. Specifically, the fraudster asks for the victim's social security number, birth date, and sometimes even for credit card numbers and other private information, exactly what the fraudster needs to commit identity theft. So far, this jury duty scam has been reported in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington state. It's easy to see why this works. 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. In reality, court workers will never call a prospective juror to ask for social security numbers and other private information. In fact, most courts follow up via postal mail and rarely, if ever, call prospective jurors.
Never give out your social security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information when you receive a telephone call. Us coast guard recipients of this fir should ensure widest dissemination to us coast guard personnel. If this method is encountered, report the attempt to local law enforcement.
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