‘Jury Duty’ Phone Scam Seeks Personal Financial Data

 

Victory State Bank is echoing a consumer alert from New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection regarding a nationwide "jury duty" phone scam. The financial institution is concerned about the financial implications of the scam, which seeks to acquire a victim’s Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers.

As described by the state agency, scammers, pretending to be law enforcement officers or court officials, contact individuals and claim that they must pay fines for failing to report for jury duty.

In many cases, when the victims of the scam inform the caller that they did not receive any information about jury duty, the caller emphasizes that it is their responsibility to appear for jury duty whether or not they received a notice.

THREATENED WITH ARREST

To avoid arrest, the victims are informed that they must pay a fine by credit card. In one case, a victim paid $1,000. The scammers may also coerce the victims to provide personal information, such as social security numbers and date of birth, which may be used for identity theft or fraud, in order to avoid prosecution.

As jury duty is a civic duty, victims are most likely caught off guard and may be too quick to respond with information when faced with the possibility of arrest. The scammers sometimes target immigrants, who are not familiar with the court system, or seniors who are less likely to report the crime. Remember, it is a crime to represent oneself as an official of a federal court.

If you receive such a phone call, New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection advises that you hang up and do not provide any confidential information. Be alert to avoid identity theft and fraud.

HERE ARE THREE TIPS TO AVOID THIS TYPE OF SCAM:

1)      Communications relating to jury duty are usually sent in writing through U.S. mail.

 

2)      If you do have phone contact with a court official, you will never be asked to share confidential information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers.

 

3)      Only give out your social security, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone if you initiate a call to a company you know to be reputable.

For more information regarding scam prevention and mitigation, the New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection may be contacted at 518-474-8583.

 

 

 

About Victory State Bank

 

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

 

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