Trial Court Administrator Dan Kessler is warning residents in Canyon County to be aware of someone impersonating a police officer and threatening them with arrest.
“The man identifies himself as Lt. Martin, badge #706,” Kessler says. “He’s telling them that there is a bench warrant out for their arrest for failure to appear for jury duty.”
Because of the serious nature of the call, the scam caller is hoping the victim will be thrown off guard and panic. As the person answers the phone denying knowledge of the summons, the impersonating officer requests personal information for “verification” purposes to allegedly clear the consumer’s name an cancel the arrest warrant. The information might include: full name, birth date, social security number, address, and (possibly) a credit card number.
“There have not been any warrants requested in Canyon County for individuals who have failed to appear for jury duty,” Kessler says. The citizens who have received these calls have not even been summoned for jury duty.”
This scam is identity theft. Court officers, according to the FBI, never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors by email. Giving sensitive information over the phone – person or financial – can result in fraudulent transactions made in the victim’s name.
Better Business Bureau CEO Dale Dixon says to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft, never give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited phone call. If you believe you were a victim of this scam, contact BBB.org or call the court administrator in your area.