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Undersecretary Barbara AnthonyPosted by:
Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

In recent months, a classic scam has started to pop back up around the country. We haven’t heard about any incidents in Massachusetts, but you should be on guard just in case your phone rings.

In this jury-service scam, the caller tells you that you skipped jury duty. If you protest that you never got called to service, the caller asks for your Social Security number and date of birth to verify the information. That’s enough for someone to steal your identity.

Of course, most people take jury duty very seriously. If informed they skipped service, many people may get nervous and rattled. These scam artists prey on those emotions. These scams have been reported in 11 states, including in Indiana and North Carolina in recent months.

The Massachusetts Office of Jury Commissioners does follow up when a resident skips jury duty, but they will never ask for any of your personal information. As a general rule, whenever an unsolicited caller asks for personal information, don’t give it out. Make sure you give your information only when you initiate a call and you know you’re giving it to a safe source.

Finally, we want to know if you’ve been targeted by this or similar scams. Call our Consumer Hotline at (888) 283-3757.

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