Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.
The caller claims to be a jury duty coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the Scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo; your identity was just stolen.
The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado, AZ, OR and more. This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.
· Court workers will not 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 phones call of this nature. About the only time you would hear by telephone (rather than by mail) about anything having to do with jury service would be after you have mailed back your completed questionnaire, and even then only rarely.
· Do not 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 saying yea or nay to it rather than the other way around.
· Examine your credit card and bank account statements every month, keeping an eye peeled for unauthorized charges. Immediately challenge items you did not approve.
For more information go to: http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp