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CCUL Headlines: Consumer

Jury duty scam makes resurgence in Charlotte, Fayetteville areas

Monday, July 14, 2014   (0 Comments)
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IRMO, SC and RALEIGH, NC (7/14/14)—According to recent reports from the Charlotte Observer  and North Carolina Department of Justice (NCDOJ), scammers are once again trying to use a common jury duty scam to steal money and/or personal financial information from citizens.

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Financial Crimes detectives said scammers have been calling residents, claiming to be with the CMPD Warrant Division. “Victims are told a warrant has been issued for them, because they failed to appear for jury duty,” the article stated.

According to detectives, the scammers then tell victims to buy MoneyPak cards to pay off the warrant and then meet the caller at police headquarters. But before that happens, the scammers call the victim again and ask for the serial numbers from the back of the MoneyPak cards, which they then use to access the money for themselves.

Meanwhile in the Fayetteville area, citizens have received phone calls from a man who claims to be a Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy. Similar to the scam in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the caller is told that you’ll be arrested for failing to appear for jury duty unless you pay a fine immediately.

“These calls aren’t legitimate and are trying to scare you into paying money you don’t really owe,” said Attorney General Roy Cooper in a message posted July 9.

And this scam is not isolated to North Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs also reported similar activity back in June.

Other versions of the jury duty scam include pre-recorded messages vs. live calls, and scare tactics to fool people into providing personal financial information which the scammers can then use to steal money and commit identity theft.

To avoid jury duty scams, remember:

  • No law enforcement agency will ask for personal information or seek payment for fines or fees over the phone or by email. Most court related correspondence takes place through the mail.
  • Never agree to send money to someone who calls you out of the blue. Many scams ask you to wire money or send it via a Green Dot MoneyPak Card.
  • Never share personal information, such as your Social Security Number or bank account number, with anyone who contacts you.

If you receive one of these calls, immediately hang up and report it to your local police department or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. The FTC places the reported information into a secure consumer fraud database and shares it with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.


Additional Resources:
CMPD warns about jury duty scam (Charlotte Observer)
Don’t be guilty of falling for a jury duty scam (NCDOJ)
State warns of new twist in jury duty scam (WSPA)
Don’t Fall for Jury Duty Scam (FBI 2006 Report)