Scam Alert: Jury Duty e-mail/phone Scam
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
January 27, 2009
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office wants to alert the public to an e-mail/phone scam related to failure to report for jury duty.
Citizens receive an e-mail that has the subject line "Do Not Delete Without Reading". Upon opening, a message claims that an arrest warrant has been issued on you because of failure to respond to a jury duty notice. In order to respond to the notice, a phone number is given for questions or a form can be filled out.
Upon calling the phone number, the citizen reaches a belligerent "Jury Coordinator" who has little sympathy for the caller’s claims of never having received a jury duty notice. In order to have the arrest warrant cancelled, the Jury Coordinator insists, the caller must provide their social security number and date of birth. Through threatening and intimidation tactics claimed to be a "verification process", callers are then tricked into providing personal information which results in having their identity stolen by the scammer.
According to Sublette County Sheriff Wayne "Bardy" Bardin, this scam has been verified through the FBI. It has touched eleven states so far. There have not been any reports yet of this scam in Wyoming.
This scam has been around since at least 2005. Citizens are cautioned to never give out their confidential personal information (social security number, date of birth, bank account numbers, mother’s maiden name, credit card numbers, drivers license, etc) when you receive a phone call or in response to unsolicited e-mails. Citizens are also reminded that the Caller ID identification can easily be faked by scammers. So even when the Caller ID shows an incoming number as coming from the local bank, sheriff’s office or court, it is possible that number has been faked and the caller is not who they say they are. Caller ID faking has been reported in Sublette County over the past year.