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SCSO: Be On-Guard for Jury Duty Scam

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(Memphis) People will do just about anything to get out of Jury Duty. Scammers know that and are using it to try and steal people's identities.

The scam goes back about six years but Shelby County Sheriff's office says it’s making its way across the country again. While there are no cases yet in the Mid-south, Investigators want people to be ready if scammers hit.

“They basically try to use intimidating tactics for you to give up your personal information,” said Chip Washington with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

He says a scammer will call you and tell you about how you missed Jury Duty.

They go on to say an arrest warrant has been issued but it can be cleared up if you just give them your name and social security number. That's enough to steal your identity.

“Criminals are always looking for ways to get your personal information and mess up your life,” said Washington.

Jackie Cooper knows the pain that comes when thieves get hold of your personal information, like an ATM card, “I had my bank card stolen so I know the effects of it and I know how it feels and it’s not fair and it’s not right.”

Washington says the court systems will always contact you through the mail, even if you were to miss jury duty.

He says the county would never call asking for your personal information over the phone.

Washington says, no matter what, go with your instinct, “Folks need to be vigilant and always pay attention. A lot of us can be trusting but these days it’s better to play it safe than be sorry.”