Jury Duty Scammers Still Targeting Unsuspecting Victims With Phone Calls Threatening Arrest
a fake public official claims that an arrest warrant was or will be issued for your arrest, but that you can pay a fine now to settle the matter
What would you do if you got a call from a law enforcement officer who said you that you skipped out on your jury duty and that a warrant had been issued for your arrest? It would probably send you into a panic. But that's what scammers are hoping when they pretend to be law enforcement officers and try getting you to pay a 'fine' to avoid arrest. Real law enforcement officers will never do this.
Calls like this are always scams
Scammers know that you want to avoid being on the wrong side of the law and use the anxiety most people have when speaking to a law enforcement officer to push you into paying money you don't owe. They hope that the anxiety they create with the false threat of arrest will get you to pay up before you realize it's a scam. Sadly, many people pay up.
Dollar Amounts are often small
The scammers operating this con usually go for small dollar amounts in order to get quicker payments from unsuspecting victims. Victims of this type of scam usually report losses of around $1,000.
Prepaid debit or gift cards are sure sign of scam
Victims of this scam and other phone scams are usually advised to make payment with prepaid debit cards or gift cards, such as Green Dot Money Pak cards or iTunes gift cards. This is the preferred way that scammers want your money since it's impossible for you to get it back once it's gone and it's nearly impossible to trace. As soon as you read the numbers on the card to the scammer, the scammer has already emptied the card of all money and disappears.
If someone is asking you to make a payment via prepaid debit cards or gift cards, stop talking to that person right away. It's a scam.
Sometimes use recorded calls
Just like other scams, thieves trying to steal money or sensitive information from you will also use pre-recorded phone calls to contact you. With the technology available today, these thieves can make thousands of calls per minute to unsuspecting victims. If you get a pre-recorded call advising you that you'll be arrested unless you pay a fine, hang up. Do not interact by pressing any buttons or by calling back. Doing so will indicate to the scammers that your number is valid and that you are likely to respond, opening you to a barrage of additional phone calls.
Avoid this scam
Sometimes it's difficult for even the most informed people to spot a scam. But there are a few things to remember about jury duty scams that can help you spot them.
- Real notices for jury duty always arrive by mail.
- You never have to pay money to participate in the jury process.
- Real public officials won't call to threaten you with arrest if you don't show up for jury duty or fail to pay a fine immediately.