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Jury duty scams are rising; here’s how to defend your identity and money

Alina BÎZGĂ

January 12, 2023

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Jury duty scams are rising; here’s how to defend your identity and money

Recently, one of Florida’s top federal judges has warned Floridians that jury duty scams are on the rise, threatening their wallets and identities.

Scammers often snare their victims with a menacing phone call about the consequences of you not showing up for jury duty. The callers claim to be law enforcement officials with a warrant for your arrest.

The crooks also mention an easy way out -- you agree to pay a fine via a prepaid debit card. In other cases, the scammers attempt to steal other sensitive information from their targets, asking them for their Social Security number and other identifiable information.

Judge Timothy Corrigan of the Middle District of Florida says that judges will not have you arrested if you miss jury duty.

“I’ve been a judge for over 25 years, I’ve never once issued a bench warrant for a person for not showing up for jury duty, it just doesn’t happen that way,” Judge Corrigan explained.

Missing jury duty doesn’t result in a fine, downpayments from citizens or requests for confidential data. Most of the time, prospective jurors are contacted by federal courts via US mail, and any phone calls will not imply threats, requests for payments or financial information.

Moreover, if prospective jurors do not respond to the initial summons, the court will send a follow-up letter.

Judge Corrigan also emphasized that individuals can give reasons for missing jury duty and that no potential juror will be arrested for passing up the opportunity.

Here’s how you can easily defend against jury duty scams:

  • Never give your personal and financial information to individuals claiming to be law enforcement or officials from local or state courthouses
  • Be aware that any jury summons will be sent to you via US mail
  • Remember that no official federal court representative will ask you to provide sensitive info via phone or email such as your Social Security number and credit card details.
  • Report any suspicious calls or correspondence to the police and FTC

With Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection (US only) you can stay in the know and limit any financial losses associated with identity crimes.

The one-stop credit monitoring and identity theft protection service helps you tackle any threats to your identity and financial wellbeing with:

  • 24/7 identity monitoring to detect if your personal information is on the dark web and to check for change in address requests, attempts to take over accounts and court records that may show crimes falsely reported in your name
  • An easy way to view your credit score or make a credit freeze in case of compromise
  • Identity restoration services with a 100% success rate, plus access to your own dedicated resolution specialist
  • Up to $2 million identity theft recovery plan, plus many more benefits, depending on your chosen plan

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