Brooklyn Consumer Federation
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island) is warning residents to be cautious of the “jury duty” scam that has become prevalent in recent months across the nation. According to the New York State Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection, jury duty phone scams have been circulating in many of our neighboring states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Scammers are calling victims disguised as law enforcement officers or court officials informing them that they have failed to attend their jury duty obligation and must pay a fine to avoid arrest.
“We need to make our family, friends and neighbors aware of this scam and all scams so they are not taken advantage of,” said Malliotakis, who is currently serving jury duty as a juror on a civil case. “It is disturbing that con artists are using a serious civic responsibility in the jury duty summons process to threaten and victimize residents across the country, and we must stay vigilant in the event that the fake calls come to our community next.”
In addition to requiring an immediate credit card payment, the scammers also insist on receiving personal information, such as Social Security Number and date of birth. The scammers also target immigrants who may not be as familiar with the court system or seniors who are less likely to report the fraud.
To protect yourself from becoming victimized by this type of scam, it is important to know that:
- Notice of jury duty is sent in writing through U.S. Mail from your local County Clerk;
- In the event that you do have phone contact with a court official you will never be asked for confidential information;
- It is only safe to provide personal information on a call that you initiate to a reputable contact; and
- If you are concerned that you missed a jury duty summons, please contact the local county clerk.
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