COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is warning the public about a new twist on the "Jury Duty scam" that has been reported in the state.
It has been reported that the fraudsters call and insist that you have not attended jury duty and as a result, you will be arrested unless a fine is paid immediately. The fine is requested by way of pre-paid debit card so that the fraudster can easily access the funds through the number on the card. Reports also reveal that the cons ask for personal information such as birth date and social security number as "verification." This fraud has evolved from identity theft to a means to get money.
The SCDCA urges you not to give away any personal information and have provided the following tips to help consumers protect themselves from dangerous fraud callers:
• Never reveal any personal information when fielding an unsolicited phone call. Court staff will never call to ask for payment for a fine. Most courts correspond with prospective jurors through mail.
• Challenge the caller. Ask for their name and other defining details. If they claim to work for a specific county or city, hang up and contact the alleged organization at a number you know is correct. The scammer is likely to hang up once you begin asking questions.
• Caller ID can be spoofed. Scammers can make calls seem even more legitimate by spoofing caller ID to make it seem like they are calling for a law enforcement office. Don't rely solely on caller ID to identify who is on the other end of the line.
To learn more on the jury duty fraud or to report a fraud, visit the SCDCA website at www.consumer.sc.gov or call 800-922-1594.