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.
May/June Scam Log Analysis posted on Jul 28
The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation compiles publicly-available scam, identity theft, and fraud complaints from around the Commonwealth via police logs and news outlets, as well as through the Office’s Consumer Information Hotline.
How to Combat Illegal Robocalls posted on Jul 25
Robocalls have become an all-too-common nuisance for consumers. Robocalls are unsolicited, pre-recorded phone calls, often scams, which are made to consumers without their permission, as opposed to calls solicited by the consumer, such as those from pharmacies and childrens’ schools. Robocalls are illegal in Massachusetts under M.G.L. c. 159C. While consumers can, and should, sign-up -for both the state and national Do-Not-Call lists, unfortunately this does not always stop many unscrupulous solicitors and scammers from making these calls.
Summary of the 2015 Consumer Federation of America Annual Consumer Complaint Survey posted on Jul 22
The Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators recently released the results of the 2015 Consumer Complaint Survey. This report is based on consumer information, complaints, and suggestions for increased consumer protections from 33 consumer agencies in 21 states.