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Jury Duty Scam Targets Senior Citizens for Identity Theft

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Jury duty is very important, if not the most important civic duty in a free society.  But senior citizens should beware of phone calls claiming that they will be arrested for ignoring their civic duty when they haven’t even received a summons in the mail.  The so-called “jury duty scam” first appeared in 2006 and is on the rise once again, alerting the attention of officials and even one federal judge.

Scammers Pose as Police, Demand Payment

According to report, the scammers call senior citizens posing as police.  Vulnerable seniors are then frightened into believing that they have missed jury duty and that they face impending arrest unless they pay up immediately.  The scammers typically demand payment in the form of a Green Dot MoneyPak Card.  Other fraudsters stick to a more traditional scheme, demanding seniors’ social security numbers to allegedly “check” if the unsuspecting senior was called for jury duty.  Of course, the gig is to obtain the personal identification information to engage in identity theft.

The Real Risks of Skipping Jury Duty

Again, jury duty is a very important civic duty.  But rest assured; if you’re ever called for duty and fail to appear, you will either 1) be fined via the mail or a summons hand-delivered by a uniformed officer; or 2) a bench warrant could be issued in your name, leading to your arrest during a routine traffic stop.  Police officers will never give advance warning of an arrest via the telephone, nor personally solicit payment over the phone to prevent an arrest.  Finally, in the rare occasions when a court employee calls you about jury duty, you will never be asked to provide personal information such as a social security number.