The Jury Duty Scam
by DL Consultants, LLC
Most of us take summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out
on their civic duty that a new ominous scam has surfaced in the last several
years. This new "jury duty" scam is the latest in a series of identity theft
"phishing schemes". Fall for it, and whammo, your identity has been stolen.
The first jury duty scam was reported in upper New York State in 2001. Since
then it's been reported in at least 13 additional states, including Michigan,
Ohio, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, California, Maryland, Illinois, New Mexico,
Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington State.
This 'jury duty' scheme might best be categorized as a "social engineering"
scam and works something like this:
Con artists contact people by phone to assert that those they've targeted
have evaded jury duty and warrants are being issued for their arrest. When the
victims rightly protest that they've never received such jury duty
notification, the scammer goes after what he really wants, (for verification
purposes only, of course) which is his pigeons' personal and financial
information. Under threat of being hauled off to jail unless they succeed in
straightening out this terrible mess, many people, (who would otherwise be more
wary about what they reveal of their personal data), will find themselves
reeling off their birth dates, social security and credit card numbers in an
effort to convince their callers that the notification had never arrived, or
were never meant for them in the first place.
It's easy to see how this might work. The victims are clearly caught off
guard, and are understandably upset at the prospect of an arrest warrant being
issued. It preys upon people's general unquestioning acceptance of authority
and willingness to cooperate in order to extract from them sensitive
How to Avoid Falling Victim to 'Jury Duty' Scams:
Be assured that court workers will very rarely, if ever, telephone to say
you've missed jury duty, or that they are assembling juries and need to
pre-screen those who might be selected to serve on them. So dismiss as
fraudulent any phone calls of this nature. Keep in mind that about the only
time you would ever hear, by telephone (rather than by mail), anything having
to do with jury service, would be after you've mailed back your
completed questionnaire, and even then only rarely.
This latest scam reinforces, once again, that you should never give
out bank account, social security, or credit card numbers over the phone if you
didn't initiate the call ~ whether it be to someone trying to sell you
something or to someone who claims to be from a bank or government department.
If such callers insist upon "verifying" such information with you, have
them read the data to you from their notes, with you verifying
it, rather than the other way around.
And a word to the wise ~ Carefully examine your credit card and bank account
statements every month, keeping an eye peeled for unauthorized charges. If you
notice anything you didn't approve, challenge it immediately!
DL Consultants, LLC http://www.VigilanceandSecurity.com
About the Author
Vigilance and Security, a wholly owned subsidiary of DL
Consultants, LLC, is a fast growing internet reseller of a broad line of
cutting edge security camera and surveillance systems appropriate for home, as
well as, small and medium business applications. Our clients include parents,
homeowners, warehouses, convenience stores, restaurants and retail
establishments. Our mission is to provide the highest level of service,
integrity, and product va