Don’t Fall for the FAKE JURY DUTY SCAM

The following quotes extensively from the AARP website. Although this is an American site we can be almost certain that the same scams it identifies could happen here. To read the article in full plus find links to related information

The phone rings. “I’m calling from the local courthouse,” the voice at the other end tells you — you’re about to be arrested because you didn’t show up for jury duty.

The warning of your imminent arrest is intended to scare you into making the usual response: I never received a jury duty summons. Then, claiming to want to clear up the matter, the caller asks you to verify your identity — by providing your Social Security number, birth date and possibly bank or credit card account numbers. Revealing such details can help the caller steal your identity and get credit cards, loans and medical services in your name and at your expense.

As in other telephone scams, the jury duty ruse can appear authentic because your caller ID screen may indicate that the call is coming from a local courthouse. That’s because the caller is using “spoofing” products — widely sold on the Internet — that allow the display of any phone number and name on your caller ID.

But the universal verdict from officials is this: Hang up without providing any personal information. You can be sure these calls are phony. Here’s why:

Authentic “no-show” summonses for missed jury duty are nearly always delivered by mail. In rare instances when actual court officials may telephone you, they won’t ask for personal information.

Legitimate officials don’t give a heads-up warning about an impending arrest.
Real court officials would call during office hours, not in the evening when many of these calls occur. Scammers, gleaning names and addresses from phone books or public records, often call after hours when people are more likely to be home.

If you receive a call about missing jury duty, you can authenticate it by looking up the courthouse number yourself. Do not ask the caller for a return telephone number. Call and ask for the jury duty coordinator or court clerk’s office. Report scam calls to your courthouse

Related Scams

The latest spin on an old identity-theft scam comes in the form of e-mails that supposedly contain a subpoena for jury duty. These emails look legitimate because they appear to come from a legitimate source.

Clicking on the e-mail’s attachment unleashes a computer virus that can steal passwords and online banking data.

Here’s what you need to know:

• Bona fide jury duty summonses, as well as summonses for no-shows, are delivered by mail. They are never sent by e-mail, so delete any you get without opening attachments.

• Real court officials never ask for Social Security numbers, birth dates or other personal information over the phone.

• If you get a phone call on any subject, including jury duty, don’t rely on caller ID. Scammers can easily “spoof” the phone number, falsely indicating it’s coming from a legitimate source such as a courthouse, your bank, your credit card company or another legitimate entity.

• Report e-mails related to jury duty to your local courthouse.

If you have concerns, look up the correct phone number yourself and call back. Never give out personal information on the phone unless you are absolutely certain you are dealing with a legitimate source. This is most readily achieved by initiating the phone call yourself to a number you have looked up yourself and to an institution you trust.