LABELLE, FL. -- TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today alerted consumers to a growing
identity theft scam in which con artists posing as courthouse workers claim
that the person being called has failed to report for jury duty. The scam
has been reported in 11 states, although it is unclear whether it has
surfaced in Florida, officials say.
"If you get such a call, hang up and avoid providing any personal or
financial information over the phone," Bronson said. "Court workers don't
call on the phone to inform you that you've missed a jury duty summons."
The scam typically involves a call from a person claiming to be a jury
coordinator who informs the person being called that a warrant has been
issued for his or her arrest as a result of the person's failure to appear
for jury duty. When the intended victim protests and reports that they've
never received a summons to report for jury duty, they are asked for a
Social Security number, a date of birth and sometimes even a bank account
Providing that information enables the scam artist to clean out the
consumer's bank account and open up other accounts, obtain credit cards and
establish other lines of credit in the victim's name, Bronson warned.
The scam reportedly has surfaced in New York, Minnesota, Illinois,
Colorado, Oklahoma and other states in recent years, and authorities are
concerned that it will spread.