Jury Duty Scam

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the US and Arizona ranks #1 for identity theft.  The average cost of an identity theft is almost $5000.  Unscrupulous thieves are actively searching for ways they can prey upon unsuspecting victims.  And seniors are unfortunately some of the easiest targets.  The Jury Duty scam is one that uses fear and intimidation to trick their victims.

jury duty scamThe scam starts with a phone call claiming to be a jury coordinator stating that you missed jury duty and that a warrant has been issued for your arrest.  If you protest that you didn’t receive a notice, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he/she can verify the information and cancel the warrant.  As soon as you give out that information, your identity has been stolen.  With that info, scammers can open credit cards, loans or even use it for medical procedures.

NEVER give your social security number or credit card information out over the phone unless you are absolutely sure the person receiving it is legit.  Before giving out any information, ask which court the jury duty notice was for and call that court directly.  The scammers will be very well schooled in sounding threatening and official, but don’t act out of haste.  Hang up and call the courts to verify it was not from them.

Be vigilant of any phone calls you might receive or visitors that knock on your door.  As seniors, we grew up in a more trusting time, an honest days wages for an honest days work.  Today, however, the lure of a fast buck requires we assume every call is fraudulent until we can research it.  Legitimate callers will normally be okay with giving you the information you need to research their offering.  Those that protest or threaten are more than likely scammers that know, once you examine their message, you will find it bogus.

Gary Wagnon, the owner of 800biz Ninja Marketing and the Ninja Marketing Dojo, is a social media trainer and online marketing consultant.

 


Beware the Tech Support Phone Scam

computer-scamsAnnoying phone calls are a fact of life but today, they can carry a serious threat.  The latest scam preys on one thing most people don’t understand – their computer.

 

The call comes from a heavily accented caller identifying themselves as being the IT Department of Windows or the Customer Service Department.  The caller explains that your computer is infected with viruses that are eating up your mother board and destroying your computer.  They instruct you to click on start, run and enter an address they give you.  At that point, they take over your computer and can plant viruses or corrupt the operating system.  The caller then asks for your credit card to fix the issue.

 

In a variation on this scam, the caller identifies themselves as being from the Best Buy Geek Squad.  One victim attempted to write a bad review of the company that called but while they were writing it,  the scammers locked them out, took over their computer and rewrote the review as a positive review.

 

Should you receive a call like this, HANG UP immediately.  Microsoft will never call no matter how badly infected your computer gets.  If you have let someone access you computer, immediately turn off your computer and disconnect it from the internet.  If you have concerns about your computer security, contact a local computer repair service company.

 

Gary Wagnon, the owner of 800biz Ninja Marketing and the Ninja Marketing Dojo, is a social media trainer and online marketing consultant.