In today’s entry, Julian Omidi discusses recent jury duty ploys directed at American citizens.
Jury duty is one of the best ways to directly invoke your civic responsibilities, but recently con artists have been capitalizing on this and using fear-based tactics for their own gain. These individuals will call the consumer and claim they have a pending incarceration due to skipping jury duty. They will then inform you that the only way to avoid the consequences is to pay them a fine, and often demand that you provide your Social Security number along with other highly sensitive personal information.
As a result, many victims find themselves not only robbed of money, but also of their identity! Multiple sources have reported an increase in these occurrences, most of which often take present during summer months. As this is accomplished generally through phone calls (although sometimes letters and emails are used), the elderly are probably the most vulnerable to providing personal information.
This summer, remind your elderly relatives to never give away personal information over the phone. The Fraud Watch Network, launched by AARP last year, is a great resource for when you suspect you may be the target of a con artist. Remember, official jury duty notifications are sent out exclusively by U.S. mail, and real jury duty officials will never ask for personal information over the phone. Protect yourself and others from extortion attempts like these!
On a more uplifting note, Uber has been providing jurors in Macomb County, Michigan with free rides to and from the courthouse. Considering these jurors are to be paid only $40 each day for their service, I hope this will continue to be a trend throughout the nation to further encourage civic duties.
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi, along with his brother Dr. Michael Omidi, is a co-founder of several philanthropic organizations.