Jury Duty Job Scam Preys on Busy Workers
When you get a summons to serve jury duty, do you think, "Oh boy! A chance to do my civic duty!" or do you think, "Uh oh -- while my boss can't legally keep me from serving, how am I ever going to get caught up if I'm selected for a long trial?" If it's the latter, you might be like thousands of other busy employees who put the summons at the bottom of a huge pile of paperwork, eventually forgetting about it.
And, you are the perfect victim for the latest scam artists who pose as officers of the court.
Here's what they do: They call you up, claiming that, since you failed to show up for jury duty, there is a warrant out for your arrest. You are especially vulnerable if you vaguely remember receiving a notice, but because you were so busy you don't remember how long ago, or whether or not you responded. You think, "Oh darn -- they must have finally caught up with me!"
Or if you did fulfill your civic requirement, you think, "Wait a minute! There must be some mistake!"
Either way, they've got you. They tell you there might be an error in the system, and ask you for your Social Security number and other personal information to check and make sure. Not wanting to be embarrassed by having an officer of the law show up at your place of business to serve you with a subpoena, you are eager to comply.
Of course, this is just an elaborate attempt at identity theft.
The FBI says this scam has been going on for years, but over the past several months they've been getting more reports. Perhaps the scammers are capitalizing on workers' reluctance to take time off, even for jury duty, when jobs are so precious and employees are required to accomplish more than ever.
In any case, the FBI cautions that court officers never ask for personal information over the phone, and you should make it a policy never to give out that kind of information to anyone who does. Armed with this information hopefully there's no way you'll fall victim to the Jury Duty Job Scam!
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