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Just when you think you’ve heard it all, now identity thieves have come up with a way to use jury duty to steal from you. How?
Imagine innocent little you sitting quietly at home not bothering anyone, when the phone rings. The person on the line identifies themselves as a court official and says that a warrant has been issued for your arrest because you didn’t report for jury duty. As a matter of fact, the marshall is on the way to your house to arrest you right now. Wait a minute, you protest. I didn’t receive a summons for jury duty – I’m sure I would have remembered trying to get out of that! No problem, our friendly court official says. Just give me your social security number and birth date so I can cancel the warrant and call off the dogs…er, the sheriff.
WARNING!! WARNING!! WARNING!!
Now, really. When was the last time the authorities called to tell you that you were about to be arrested? (Not counting that time in college when the dorm monitor broke up the keg party right before the cops arrived). And since they issued the arrest warrant, shouldn’t they aready have enough information about you to cancel it?
Unfortunately, many people fall for this scam. And it is tempting – who wants to face the prospect of spending the night in the slammer with Pretty Boy Floyd and a few of his closest friends? But, in the words of Nancy Reagan JUST SAY NO!
Never, never, never, never give out your social security number to anyone over the phone. Ok, that bears repeating – never, never, never, never give out your social security number to anyone over the phone. If you are really concerned that the marshall is beating feet to your house, call and find out if there is an outstanding warrant for you. But you don’t really need to do anything except let these scumbags listen to your dial tone.
I’ve done bookkeeping and accounting work for most of my adult life.