Iowans are being warned about a scam involving jury duty. Bob Brammer, spokesperson for the Iowa Attorney General’s office, says they started receiving a rash of complaints on the matter a few weeks ago. The scam involves a phone call, where the caller claims to be from a local or federal court and indicates the person may be in trouble for missing jury duty.
"They’re trying to throw people off kilter a bit," Brammer explains, "and then they start asking for information like social security number or date of birth, and maybe even a credit card number. This is a version phishing, where con artists try to trick people into giving key personal information."
Brammer says court officials would never actually call individual Iowans. "Courts don’t contact people that way," Brammer says, "they do it through the mail. The federal courts have issued a warning on this." Brammer says there’s speculation that some of the callers could be bill collectors using illegal tactics.
Iowans who receive "jury-duty scam" calls are urged to report them to their local court offices, or to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 888-777-4590.