Scam Alert: Jury Duty Scam...Scammer demands payment for missed jury duty -Don't fall for it!

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 The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he'll need some information for "verification purposes"-your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number.
This is when you should hang up the phone. It's a scam.

Jury scams have been around for years, but have seen a resurgence in recent months. Communities in more than a dozen states have issued public warnings about cold calls from people claiming to be court officials seeking personal information. As a rule, court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail.

The scam's bold simplicity may be what makes it so effective. Facing the unexpected threat of arrest, victims are caught off guard and may be quick to part with some information to defuse the situation.

"They get you scared first," says a special agent in the Minneapolis field office who has heard the complaints. "They get people saying, 'Oh my gosh! I'm not a criminal. What's going on?'" That's when the scammer dangles a solution-a fine, payable by credit card, that will clear up the problem.

With enough information, scammers can assume your identity and empty your bank accounts.


For more info on "phishing" scams search the archives or read a few earlier posts:

Beware of Phishing Scams

Scams Related to Flood Clean-up

IRS Warns of Email Scam

(aside from the warnings in the above IRS warning of email scams,  the IRS has issued a warning of additionally known scams you should not fall for. They include:

Substitute Form 1040 Fax Scam

This scam consists of a cover letter and form that are faxed, rather than e-mailed. The letter says that the IRS is updating its files. The attached form requests a large amount of detailed personal and financial information. It asks the recipient to sign and fax back the completed form, as well as a copy of the recipient's driver's license and passport.

Company Report Scam

This e-mail appears to come from an e-mail address, addresses recipients by name and references the company the recipient works for. The e-mail says that the IRS has a report on the company and asks the recipient to review a copy by clicking on a link to download the report. However, when the link is clicked, malware is downloaded to the recipient's computer.

Tax Court Scam

In this scam, an e-mail that appears to come from the U.S. Tax Court contains a petition involving a court case between the IRS and the recipient. The document instructs the recipient to download other files. The downloads transfer malware, or malicious code, to the recipient's computer.

The truth is that the Tax Court is not e-mailing notices to anyone who currently has a case before the court.

What to Do

To access the IRS Web site, type directly into your Internet browser window, NEVER click on a link in an e-mail, (dial a provided phone number)  or open an attachment, by clicking on provided links you may download malicious code or be sent to a phony Web site.


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