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Don't Get Burned By Jury Fraud in Last Days of Summer

Consumer watchdogs warn that the jury duty scam has resurfaced in New Hampshire as a means of stealing identities and money. Credit: Ken Lund/Wikimedia Commons
Consumer watchdogs warn that the jury duty scam has resurfaced in New Hampshire as a means of stealing identities and money. Credit: Ken Lund/Wikimedia Commons
August 13, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. – Few people want their summer interrupted by a notice to report for jury duty, but it gets even worse when that notice is a fake designed to steal your identity and money.

Retired FBI agent Bob Denz is a volunteer fraud-fighter with AARP New Hampshire. He says it's not unusual for old scams to come back to life, and says the jury duty scam has resurfaced in New Hampshire with bogus phone calls and emails.

"Right across the state, you frighten people and particularly older people," he says. "Someone calls up to say you're having an arrest warrant for you, or you didn't come to jury duty, they're not going to hang up, they're going to listen and they're frightened and they'll probably do anything."

Denz says the best way to steer clear of the scam is to not share any personal information over the phone or by email. He adds while the scam is more than a decade old, it is still netting around $350 million a year.

Denz says the calls tend to vary. Some try to get you to part with sensitive identity information and others with cash.

"Another technique is to tell the victim to pay a fine, before the so-called arrest warrant is signed," he explains. "Pay over the phone, such as loading money onto a prepaid debit card or Paypal."

If you have received a phone call or email claiming you missed jury duty, Denz says you should notify the local authorities, and also friends and family.

"Your neighbors, your friends, your associates, give them that information and they're not surprised about a call like this," he says. "Harden the target. Get people to know about it. If one person tells 20 more, that's great."

The AARP Fraud Watch Network distributes email alerts and tips to avoid frauds and scams.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH