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Police warn of jury duty scam

By Laura Bollin

The Chicago Ridge Police Department has warned residents to be wary of a phone scam in which a caller who claims to be an officer of the court informs a person he or she has failed to report for jury duty and that an arrest warrant has been issued.

When the resident says he or she has never received a notice, the caller asks for personal details such as a birth date, Social Security number or credit card number for "verification purposes." Residents who receive such phone calls should hang up and call the police department.

Court officers do not ask for confidential information over the phone, and correspond with prospective jurors via mail, police said. With enough personal information, a person can access someone's bank account, police said. Residents should never provide personal information during an unsolicited phone call.

The scam is effective because it is simple and catches people off-guard, police said. Communities in Illinois, Florida, New York, Minnnesota, Colorado, Oregon, California, Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Hampshire have all recently reported the scam.