Jury Duty Scam Continues to Target Unsuspecting Citizens

Jury Duty Scam Continues to Target Unsuspecting Citizens
Image: Pixabay
February 11, 2016

Serving on a jury is one of our most important responsibilities as citizens, but scammers try to use jury duty to steal from the innocent.

In the latest version of this common scam, Wake County residents have gotten phone calls from a man who claims to be a Sheriff's Deputy. The caller claims that you're facing charges for failing to appear for jury duty, and that you will be arrested and taken to jail if you do not pay a fine immediately. The scammer will typically prompt the unsuspecting victim to purchase a prepaid debit card, then provide the card information to pay the supposed fine.

These calls are a scam. The con artist is simply trying to scare you into paying money that you don't owe.

In other versions of the jury duty scam, crooks use pre-recorded messages instead of live calls, and sometimes they try to scare people into providing personal financial information which the scammers can then use to steal money and commit identity theft.

To avoid jury duty scams, remember:

  • Court officers won't ask for personal information or seek payment for fines or fees over the phone. Most court related correspondence takes place through the mail.
  • Never agree to send money to someone who calls you out of the blue. Many scams ask you to wire money or send it via a Green Dot MoneyPak Card.
  • Never share personal information, such as your Social Security Number or bank account number, with anyone who contacts you.

If you receive one of these calls, immediately hang up and report it to your local police department and the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.

Get Connected with Consumer Connections

Stay up-to-date about issues that really matter! Get the Consumer Connections newsletter!

We're committed to providing you with information you need to make you a better, more informed consumer. Whether it's a vehicle recall, a product recall, or a new scam, we feature it in Consumer Connections.

So why not give it a try? Go on. All of your friends are doing it. It's completely free and comes just once a week.

You've finally filled out all the paperwork for a new or used car and drive it off the lot in triumph. Then, only a few hours (or days or weeks) later, the dealer calls you and tells you that you have to return the car because your financing didn't go through. What's going on? Is this legal? No.

According to the scam alert released by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), scammers are targeting unsuspecting consumers across the country by impersonating cable companies and taking advantage of subscribers' eagerness to save money on cable television services.

Do you know how to protect yourself against computer fraud? Most people think they can spot a scam, but scammers are getting better every day. It's now sometimes very difficult to know who is on the other end of the Internet and whether an email or website is truly legitimate.

We use our phones to do all kinds of things. But those who use USB charging stations may want to think twice before checking off the first two items on that list. Security researchers have discovered a way to hack into smartphones using USB stations and view and record everything that is displayed on the screen.