FBI warns Georgians about increase in jury duty scams

The FBI Atlanta Division is warning the community about a telephone scam related to jury duty that is targeting not only Georgians but people across the nation.

According to the FBI, the caller impersonates a law enforcement officer or officer of the court claiming the victim missed jury duty. Then, the scammer threatens them with a criminal prosecution or even jail time.

To avoid arrest, the scammer tells the victim they can pay a fine immediately by providing payment information or other personal information. The caller may also request that the victim purchase a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card or gift card, for payment, officials said.

According to the FBI, the scammer may provide legitimate identification information of law enforcement officers or court officials, names of federal judges and courtroom addresses to make the scam appear credible. Officials said scammers may even “spoof” the phone number so that it appears the call is coming from the court or a government agency.

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Officials want to warn the public of these growing scams. Specifically, they are asking that if anyone receives a call or email, they should not provide any personal information, credit card numbers, prepaid cards, or money.

The FBI said that if a person fails to appear for jury duty, they will receive correspondence by U.S. Mail and not by phone or email.

Here’s a list to avoid becoming a victim of these types of scams:

Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact.Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller pressures you, or says things that don’t sound right, hang up.If concerns remain about the caller’s claims, verify the information with the appropriate law enforcement agency or court officials.

If you received a jury duty scam phone call or email, please report it with a description of the caller and any available caller ID information to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at this website.

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