Sunday, September 18, 2005

Jury Duty Scam Leads to Identity Theft

From La Grange Police Dept – Chief Mike Holub
I became aware of this recent scam and wanted to share it with you. Our representatives in the County Court System have already heard about this swindle, and so the Police Department would like to pass it along in hopes of curtailing an attempt in La Grange.

CHIEF MIKE HOLUB: Here's a new twist scammers are using to commit identity theft: the jury duty scam. Here's how it works: The scammer calls claiming to work for the local court and claims you've failed to report for jury duty. He tells you that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. The victim will often rightly claim they never received the jury duty notification. The scammer then asks the victim for confidential information for "verification" purposes. Specifically, the scammer asks for the victim's Social Security number, birth date, and sometimes even for credit card numbers and other private information -- exactly what the scammer 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 you to ask for social security numbers and other private information. In fact, most courts follow up via snail mail and rarely, if ever, call prospective jurors.

Preventative Action:Never give out your Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information when you receive a telephone call.

This jury duty scam is the latest in a series of identity theft scams where scammers use the phone to try to get people to reveal their Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information. It doesn't matter “why” they are calling -- all the reasons are just different variants of the same scam. Protecting yourself is simple: Never give this info out when you receive a phone call. For more information, click on the following link: Please share this information with your employees, family and friends . . .

Lucy's Note: Several times I have had people call me up for one reason or another and tried to get this kind of information from me. When I don't give the information to them, they hang up. It's becoming a real problem. Has anyone ever tried to scam you?

Click here to see what my computer does at night after I go to bed.


At 10:08 AM, Blogger PBS said...

Yes, by E-mail and by phone. Thanks for this information. I'll pass it along to my friends!

At 10:09 AM, Blogger TC said...

Wow! I have never heard of this scam. Scary.

I once had a job interview where I gave out my Social Insurance Number and then the person working for the company stole my identity to forge cheques in my name and cash them.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Nettie said...

Geez, does their creativity never end? I've only ever been targeted by email, it was pretty obvious to me that it was fake though.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger cassie-b said...

No one has tried that on me. And I'd like to think I'd be smart enough to do the right thing. I'll pass this information alng. Thanks,


At 8:30 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Gosh! I have been called to jury duty several times. I can not seem to get those people to answer the phone, ever! This person must have some type of inside connection!!!

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the heck is your computer doing?????????????????did you create that yourself, that is the funniest thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Liquidplastic said...

My goodness! Will they ever stop! Since I co-signed for a couple of my children vehicles, and they have not paid timely, I guess I can rest for minute, because my credit rating is not all that. Thanks Lucy and I will pass this on.

By the way ... how do you get your computer to do that! I love it. It's so funny. The idea that your computer is playing while you are asleep .. now that's real poetic.

At 3:58 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Alright guys, my computer doesn't actually do that at night. A friend of mine sent it to me through my email as a joke. You can copy and paste the web address and send it to your friends. My husband thought it was cute..... It is cute.


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