Authorities say scam artists, posing as court officers, are calling unsuspecting people to tell them they have failed to report for jury service and that there is a warrant out for their arrest.
The victim is then told that everything can be cleared up if personal information, such as a social security number, birth date and credit card number, is provided. People who reported getting such calls have later found new credit card accounts opened in their name.
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The FBI says the scam has seen a resurgence this year, and complaints have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Virginia. The federal court system has also issued an alert on the scam and has urged people to contact their local District Court office with complaints.
Jay Foley, Executive Director of the Identity Theft Resource Center, tells ABC News to be cautious of anyone calling you on the telephone saying they represent any government agency asking for personal information.
In addition to the jury duty story, other scams involve people calling about your taxes or problems with your bank account. Foley says, "Never give out personal information over the phone unless you know darn well who the caller is. I don't care if they say they are a police officer, FBI agent or the President of the United States."