A New Identity Theft Scam Almost No One Knows About

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Overview: Imagine receiving a phone call saying you failed to report for jury duty and a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Discover how scammers are using this scenario to commit identity theft...

Boone, NC (PRWEB) August 24, 2005 — Identity theft scammers, pretending to work for local courts, are calling potential victims with the news that they have failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant has been issued for their arrest. They then ask victims for personal confidential information, including social security numbers, birth dates, and credit card numbers for "verification" purposes. This is exactly the information scammers need to commit identity theft.

"It's not at all surprising that the jury duty scam is so effective," says Dr. Audri G. Lanford, Co-Editor of Internet ScamBusters, the #1 publication on Internet fraud. "Victims are caught off guard and are understandably upset at the idea of a warrant being issued for their arrest, so they are much less likely to be careful about protecting their confidential information and their identity," says Dr. Lanford.

The jury duty scam is only about three weeks old and has already been reported in nine states: Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington state.

In reality, court workers do not call potential jurors and ask for their social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information. Most courts use snail mail exclusively for jury matters.

It is easy to protect yourself from this scam: Never give your social security number, credit card numbers, or other personal information when you receive a phone call, no matter what the reason.

"The jury duty scam is a great example of why being smart is not always enough to protect yourself from clever online and offline scammers," says Dr. Lanford. "Whereas it's easy to avoid many scams by simply using common sense, it makes it much easier to protect yourself if you know about other scams in advance. Educating consumers about new scams like the jury duty scam is why we have been publishing Internet ScamBusters for the past 10+ years as a public service."

Visit http://www.scambusters.org/scambusters.html for more information.

Click here for more on the principles behind the jury duty scam and how it leads to identity theft.

About Internet ScamBusters

Internet ScamBusters, the #1 publication on Internet fraud, shows you how to protect yourself from clever scammers — online and offline. Established in November 1994, it is a public service by Audri and Jim Lanford that includes a free weekly email newsletter. Internet ScamBusters offers a lively, entertaining and opinionated approach to avoiding the most popular scams, viruses, spyware, phishing scams, identity theft ploys, credit card fraud schemes, and urban legends making the rounds.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Audri G. Lanford, Ph.D.

Internet ScamBusters

828-262-5885

http://www.scambusters.org

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Audri Lanford
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