PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Federal authorities are warning the public about a jury duty phone scam.
The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service say callers are impersonating law enforcement or court officials, telling the person on the other end of the phone that an arrest warrant has been issued for them for failing to appear for jury duty.
Authorities say the phone scam victim is told they must pay a fine and report to court. Scammers then tell the victims to buy a prepaid debit card and provide them the card information to pay the fine.
Federal authorities say the scammers have been targeting New Jersey residents. Variations of this type of scam have also been reported in numerous other states.
The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service offered the following tips to avoid becoming a victim to this scam.
– Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.
– Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact.
– Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller pressures you, or says things that don’t sound right, hang up.
Victims of these scams can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.