A Scary Phone Call

The phone rings and you answer. The caller gives you the shocking news that an arrest warrant has been issued. Why? Because you failed to report for jury duty. However, he or she tells you that there might be a way to avoid arrest. You’ll just need to give him your social security number, birth date or other identifying information. Anxious about the possibility of being arrested, and eager to get the matter resolved you should . . . Hang up!

Court employees will not call you to get your personal information. The caller is a fraud, trying to steal your identity and get access to bank accounts and other assets. Snopes.com is a great place to check into a fishy (or “phishy”) email. Many popular scams are exposed there. The jury duty version described above was first noted on Snopes.com in 2005.

Don’t give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited phone call. Review your bank account and credit card statements every month, looking for any unauthorized charges or deductions. If you find any, contact the bank promptly and make sure you get some resolution in writing.