Most of us take a summons for jury duty seriously. But enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous scam has surfaced.
The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks for your Social Security number and date of birth in order to verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. If you share this information, your identity may be stolen or compromised.
Bottom line: Never give out personal information over the phone unless you are absolutely certain who you are talking to.
The scam has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois and Colorado. It is particularly insidious because the criminals use the threat of arrest to bully people.
The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites warning consumers about the fraud.
This item comes courtesy of Celeste Carey, the crime prevention program coordinator with the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods.