Police Warn Of Jury Scam - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/4/07-Longview

Police Warn Of Jury Scam

Law enforcement is warning East Texans to be watchful for a clever new scam involving jury duty.  It's a ruse that uses bogus authority to attempt identity theft. Using the disguise of authority, a new phone scam is targeting the civic duty of citizens: jury duty.

"I've never heard of it before until now," said Longview native Ben Standard.

"From my understanding, it's started in Louisiana and worked its way here we haven't had any reports of it happening here in Longview yet," said Longview police Sgt. Larry Webb.

Here's how it works:  a person calls claiming to be an employee of an area courthouse and claims you've missed jury duty. When you complain or argue, they say there could be a mistake, and that's when they ask for your social security number.  Police say the scammers use a phone spoofing product that allow criminals to use any call back number, including courthouses. Some say the technique could have them thinking twice.

"It would give me some pause yeah I would be concerned about it initially it would I'd have to check into it make sure I haven't overlooked something," said Longview resident Danny Presson.

Others say they would quickly be skeptical.  "I would be skeptical of that I'd call the police, because you're not supposed to give anybody your social security number," said Longview resident Dorothy Helms.

But the results of not questioning the identity of the caller could be disastrous.  "Don't give any personal information such as social security number date of birth drivers license. Call the local official that they're representing. You can lose money, identity theft, they can get into your bank account," Webb said.

The best solution, go directly to the courthouse and see for yourself.   Police say if you are called in this manner, to immediately contact police, and never give personal information over the phone.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com

 

Powered by Frankly