Did You Miss Jury Duty, or Is This a Scam?

lawsuit2 150x150 Did You Miss Jury Duty, or Is This a Scam?Every year, new people enter the jury pool. And every year, scammers take advantage of this fact to try and trick people into giving out their sensitive personal information.

How it works: You answer the phone and someone tells you that you failed to turn up for jury duty. They need your personal details so the court can cancel an arrest warrant. Or they’re calling to confirm personal details for future jury duty. Or they need your credit card numbers to pay a fine—or you’ll be arrested.

No matter what a stranger tells you over the phone, don’t give out your information like your Social Security number or your birth date or credit card numbers. If in doubt, contact the court directly. And report the incident to the police.

Scambusters, Snopes, the FBI, and various states have all posted warnings about this scam.

You should know that courts almost always correspond with private citizens via snail mail and rarely if ever call prospective jurors. Federal courts do not require anyone to give out sensitive information over the phone. And many courts post warnings about the jury duty scam right on their websites, along with a disclaimer stating that they will not call and ask you for sensitive information.

Personally, I have never received a call like this, but then, I have an unlisted phone number. I also screen my calls and only pick up if I know the caller personally. In my opinion, this saves me a lot of hassle. If it’s important, they can leave a message and a valid phone number for me to call back.

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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.