The Florida Bar


December 3, 2010
Susannah Lyle,
The Florida Bar

Hang up!

That's what the FBI advises you should do if someone calls you saying that you have missed jury duty and an arrest warrant has been issued.

Hoping to surprise you, fraudsters in this long-running "jury duty scam" ask for identifying information when you protest that you did not receive a summons. They ask for your birth date and Social Security number. Don't give this information to them -- or anyone who calls you out of the blue seeking personal information.

Court workers will not call you seeking personal information -- which the fraudsters in this jury duty scam use to steal identities and get access to bank accounts.

First noted on the rumor-busting website five years ago, this scam periodically resurfaces as it has done recently in Northwest Florida. Here's what the FBI says about it:

"The scam's bold simplicity may be what makes it so effective. Facing the unexpected threat of arrest, victims are caught off guard and may be quick to part with some information to defuse the situation."

So hang up if someone calls saying you have missed jury duty. And keep these pointers in mind during the holiday season: The Florida Bar has more information about how to protect yourself from identity theft. The Bar also has many other pamphlets with information and tips to protect yourself as a consumer.

Have a safe holiday season!

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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."

[Revised: 07-08-2012]