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Don't Fall Victim to New Scarily Realistic Jury Duty Scam

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Whether or not you love receiving a jury duty summons, we can all agree that we don't love scams. And unfortunately, there's a new jury duty scam that people need to be on the lookout for, according to the U.S. Marshal's Service. Keep reading to find out the details of this latest scam — and to learn how to avoid tricks like this in the future.

Fake Jury Duty Scam

In this most recent scam, a con artist will call and say that you owe a fine for not appearing for jury duty. To avoid being arrested, you must purchase a prepaid debit card or gift card and read the numbers to the caller over the phone. Yikes!

To appear as though they are legitimate government officials, scammers may give you fake badge numbers, courthouse addresses, and even the names of real U.S. Marshals. Using a process called neighbor spoofing, they might even make it appear as though the phone calls are coming from an official government office.

How to Tell If It's a Scam

So how can you protect yourself? The federal marshals want you to know that they will never ask for payment information (including routing numbers, credit card numbers, or wire transfers) over the phone if you miss jury duty, and they will never ask you to purchase a prepaid card for any reason.

On their website, the FBI has written the following pointers for staying safe:

— Be suspicious of unwanted phone calls, especially from numbers you don't recognize.

— Do not give out money or personal information to a stranger.

— Go with your gut: If a unknown caller is pressuring you, or if something just doesn't feel right, hang up. You don't owe them an explanation.

— If you're still concerned about the caller's claims, verify the information with law enforcement.

h/t ABC 10

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