(Phoenix, Ariz. – July 29, 2005) Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned Arizona residents to be wary of callers threatening people with arrest for missing jury duty unless they provide specific personal information. This is a new twist on identity theft, and residents should be very careful about giving any personal information to strangers.
This is a scam. The scheme works this way:
The caller identifies himself as a representative of the Superior Court of Maricopa County Jury Office and tells the person he or she has missed a jury date and must make it up. The caller then asks for personal information, such as address, Social Security number and other specific information. If the information is not provided, the story may change to the caller being a representative of the Sheriff’s Department, and he may threaten arrest for missing the jury date.
If a resident improperly fails to appear for jury duty, the Court will send a second summons and it will be labeled “Second Summons.” The Jury Management Office will only contact residents who contact the office requesting a new date for jury duty and leave a phone number for a return call.
Goddard offered the following tips to avoid being victimized:
- Be skeptical of callers who threaten arrest for missing jury duty unless the consumer provides specific personal information to the caller.
- Do not comply with any request to “verify information” such as a Social Security number.
- Do not agree to send the caller any written information for review.
- Hang up! Do not be afraid to be rude, even if the caller attempts to play on fear of prosecution.
- NEVER give out bank, credit card or Social Security information over the phone.
- Screen calls. Let the answering machine pick up calls from unknown callers. Most telemarketers will not leave messages.
Goddard asks residents who receive calls of this kind to report them to the Attorney General's Office by visiting the Web site at www.azag.gov and submitting an online "Consumer Complaint" or calling the Office at 602.542.5763 in Phoenix; 520.628.6504 in Tucson; or 1.800.352.8431 outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.