An old scam, commonly known as the Jury Duty Scam, has been recirculating around Florida recently and has already defrauded consumers of thousands of dollars. Any caller asking for personal information should automatically be a red flag as potential fraud. Follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim.
How The Scam Works
Consumers receive a phone call from an individual identifying themselves as an officer of the court. The "officer" says that an arrest warrant has been issued for failure to appear for jury duty. They state that in order to resolve the issue, information for "verification purposes" is needed. This information may include your date of birth, Social Security number and even a credit card number to pay the fine. Other instances include the scammer asking for payment of a fee, typically through a prepaid debit card or a Green Dot Money Pack card, to settle the outstanding warrant.
Some consumers fall victim to this fraud and before they realized what happened, the scammer opens new accounts and credit cards and is able to access personal banking and financial information.
Avoid Becoming Victim
Court workers never request payments from jurors over the telephone, nor do they ask for personal information, such as Social Security or credit card numbers. If a consumer is unable to fulfill jury duty, they are typically asked to provide an explanation or directed to appear in court.
Never give out personal information when answering an unsolicited phone call.
If a consumer is contacted by someone requesting payments for failing to report for jury duty, hang up the phone, it's a scam.
Anyone receiving this type of call should immediately contact the local law enforcement agency and the clerk's office at the nearest district court to notify them of this scam.