The FBI has verified, on their web site, that there is a "Jury Duty Scam". This is a phone related scam, so if you know anyone who doesn't use the Internet, especially older people, you should make sure they do not become a victim. The caller claims to be a court officer, and then accuses the victim of missing a jury duty appointment. After the victim is sufficiently worried about failing to report for jury duty, the caller then suggests that they verify if they have the correct person. It is at that point that they ask for ss number, birth date, and sometimes even credit information.
The caller works the conversation into a threat of a fine that can be paid over the phone by a credit card. What is amazing is that this has been going on in some form since early 2005! If you have one of these calls, or know someone who has, one thing to do is *69 after you hang up. This will give you the phone number that the call was made from. Then contact the FBI and report the incident.
You can also use *57 which records the phone call at the phone company as a "call trace". One web site says: "When you activate the Call Trace code (*57) immediately following the harassing call, the caller's phone number is recorded by the phone company." But *57 doesn't give you the phone number. The phone company has to get an authorization form before the harasser's phone number can be turned over to law enforcement and there may be a fee. Some phone companies charge you each time you use Call Trace and others have a monthly charge for an unlimited number of traces.
If the phone number is blocked, tracing the call may help the FBI or other law enforcement agencies gather enough information to go after the schemers even from the perspective of "Do Not Call" fines and penalties, especially if your phone is on the DNC list. In any case, don't get your identity stolen this way. Tell someone who might be a victim to be careful, too.
Debbie Walsh, GRI, CNE, CHMS, REM | Office (845) 283-3036 |
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