If you are one of the lucky Southern California residents to be called down for jury duty in Santa Ana, it might be important to review how jury duty actually works, because identity thieves have devised yet another plan to steal your identity. According to a Colorado news report earlier today, a jury duty identity theft scam is spreading across the country.
According to Illinois ABC News Channel 20, six days ago identity thieves targeted people with this jury duty identity theft scam in Illinois. Now a Colorado news channel showed that this jury duty scam is spreading and has even been found in other states such as Oregon, Oklahoma and Arizona.
Jury duty identity theft
In this identity theft scam, victims report getting threatening phone calls from supposed jury duty scammers who request their date of birth and social security number for verification. Unfortunately identity thieves are counting on people’s fear of being penalized for dodging jury duty; but the sad fact is, if victims give the caller their personal information they are at risk for identity theft.
The reality is that identity thieves are counting on your fear when it comes to avoiding jury duty, so be on the lookout for callers pretending to be from the courthouse. If you are called by a jury duty identity theft scammer, try using the following tips to stay safe:
- If you are not up for jury duty and you receive this random phone call, keep in mind that the government will never call you to invite you to jury duty.
- Be sure to ask for the caller’s name and phone number.
- Never give money or your personal information over the phone or through an email.
- If you were called for jury duty but you did not show up, keep in mind that the government will be notifying you by mail if you are in default.
- According to the Santa Ana jury commissioner, jury staff never asks a prospective juror for personal information or payments.
- Treat any call you receive suspiciously and write down the name and phone number on your caller ID.
- Make note of the time of the call and whether or not the caller had an accent because any tips you have can aid law enforcement.
If you live in Santa Ana and you have questions about your upcoming jury duty, contact the Superior Court directly at https://cfapps.occourts.org/directory/jury-services/serving-as-juror/cjc-callin-information.cfm You can also file a request for postponement or provide the court with proof of your excuse or disqualification.
Identity theft is such a broad crime, so don’t be discouraged if after you report it, nothing happens. According to the Santa Ana Police Department, your case will not be assigned to a detective unless you have the name of a suspect or you have an idea who could have stolen you identity which is why it is so important to be on guard and make note at all times in order to protect yourself from identity theft.
As always thank you for your visit today. Please subscribe for the latest news and updates on identity theft and don’t forget to leave a comment if you have advice or a personal experience with jury duty identity theft.
ABC News (2013). Jury duty scam hits Illinois residents ABC News Channel 20. Retrieved from http://www.wics.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_11254.shtml
PMBV Group (2013, May 28). Jury duty identity theft phone scam targets Colorado BC DemocrateOnline.com website. Retrieved from http://www.bcdemocratonline.com/article/20130528/NEWS/130529946/-1/sports