State court officials send warning
on jury-duty scam
Madison, Wisconsin - August 24, 2007
Wisconsin residents are being warned not to give out personal
information to people who may be posing as court officials. In
recent weeks, residents in three Wisconsin counties reported
being asked for personal information by telephone callers
accusing them of missing jury duty, said A. John Voelker,
director of state courts. The scam sometimes works because
callers are fearful they may be in legal trouble, said Glen Loyd,
a consumer affairs specialist with the Wisconsin Department
of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
In one case, a Green County woman gave out personal i
information after she was told she had missed jury duty. In
La Crosse County, a caller asked a resident to report to the
"old courthouse" with her drivers license and social security
card. Three incidents were reported in St. Croix County,
including one in which personal information was revealed.
The best way to protect yourself from this scam is to
remember that a legitimate request for jury-duty service
will arrive by mail as a summons from the clerk of circuit
court in the county in which you live, Voelker said.
Many counties allow jurors to respond to juror questionnaires
online, and a legitimate questionnaire will include instructions
on how to do so through the clerk of circuit court's Web site.
Clerks may also follow up with phone calls, but initial contact
regarding jury duty will not be made by e-mail or telephone,
Voelker said. A legitimate summons and questionnaire for
jury duty also can be verified through a phone call to the
appropriate clerk's office.
DATCP's Office of Privacy Protection advises consumers
that legitimate companies or agencies don't call or e-mail
asking for personal information like account, credit card
or social security numbers. Never give out personal information
unless you initiated the contact.
To report an incident you believe was intended to result in
the illegitimate release of your private information, call DATCP's
hotline at 1-800-422-7128.
Consumer Affairs Specialist