Courts warn against scam that takes your personal information

Caller may pose as court worker, ask for social security number

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DETROIT - The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has issued a warning to citizens about a resurgence of a nationwide scam, in which citizens receive a telephone call from an individual claiming to be employed by a court.

In the calls, the threat of a fine or arrest for failing to appear for jury duty is used to coerce the citizen into providing certain personal information, such as their social security number or a credit card number, potentially leading to identity theft or fraud.  In some instances, the citizen is instructed to pay a fine immediately by purchasing a reloadable credit or debit card, and to call a specific phone number to provide the card number for the payment to be made and the fine to be settled.

Federal courts do not require anyone to provide sensitive information such as social security numbers in a telephone call.

In addition, federal courts do not advise jurors who fail to appear for jury duty of fines or arrest in a telephone call, and payment is never demanded over the phone.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and call the Court's Jury Department at 313-234-5085.

Be prepared to provide your name, telephone number, and a detailed description of the call you received.

Any information you provide will be turned over to the United States Attorney's Office, which will determine whether further action is warranted.


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