Jury Duty Scam Impacting US Citizens

Chicago 2010. Weather: Probably snowing. Me: Standing in my kitchen, listening to an automated message, waiting to learn if I would be summoned for Jury Duty. This was my chance and I wanted my butt in one of those twelve seats. Justice! Justice for all! Sadly, my surname failed me that day: only last names between L-Z were selected. Six years later, I’m still waiting for my chance. [Fingers crossed!]

With a new scam floating in our system, citizens are being made to believe that they missed their jury duty summons. Scammers will call and say that an arrest warrant is being issued for skipping jury duty. As jury duty is everyone’s legal duty [places hand over heart], victims of this scam get nervous and will show up at courthouses thinking that they are going to get arrested.

However, an unnecessary trip to the courthouse isn’t the worst possible outcome in this case. Scammers are demanding credit card information to pay off the “fine” for skipping jury duty. They have also been asking for social security numbers to “clear the charge”. As noted in Seven Steps to Avoid Call Scams, only give out personal information if YOU are the one who made the call.

It’s important to note that the caller ID on your phone could identify the caller as an official business. “U.S. Government” perhaps, or “King County Sheriff’s Office”. If they’re really sassy, maybe even “Bald Eagle Freedom Ambassadors”. While the caller ID may look legitimate, if you suspect spam, you’re probably right and should act accordingly. The FCC has a Complaint Board where you may register known scammers. Additionally, there are scam identification apps that will alert you if the call is suspected spam.

When in doubt, Bye Felicia that spammer and block it or hang up immediately.

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