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Scammers

You Be The Judge

Phone ScamDuring the holiday season when most of us are distracted by plans for sharing and caring for others, scammers are in overdrive planning JUST THE OPPOSITE!  Said another way, the good guys plan to give and the scammers plan to take. Its one thing to be reminded to be on extra alert during the holiday season, but the reality is that the bad guys up their game, rendering their criminality harder to detect.

The purpose of this blog is to make the public aware of a nationwide scam in which the scammers pretend to be government officials and claim that the victim is about to be arrested for not appearing for jury duty. They deliver scary news and threats and then they offer a “solution”. They tell the victim they can avoid arrest by paying the fine. Next, they explain in detail how the victim can purchase a prepaid debit or gift card or make an electronic payment to satisfy the “fine.”

You might think this is a no-brainer and surely you would smell a rat right away but remember, the bad guy works hard at perfecting the scam and then catches their victim off guard, a winning combination for the criminal. Another way scammers up their game is by legitimizing the phone call by using real names of federal judges or made-up badge or case numbers. In some cases, they may even give the address of the victim’s local courthouse.

The best offense is a good defense. Visit these websites to add your phone number to the “Do Not Call Registry”. It takes seconds to do and you will be glad you did!

National Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx

Florida Do Not Call Registry: https://www.fldnc.com/

 In the spirit of holiday sharing, share this blog with a friend, relative, neighbor, coworker, or anyone you think might get caught off guard. After all, we’re all a bit preoccupied at this time of the year and anyone could fall victim. Anyone.

If you or anyone you know has had the misfortune of falling for this scam, report the details to the U.S. Marshals Service office and the Federal Trade Commission.