Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher is warning Floridians to be on the lookout for a new identity theft scheme.
In the scheme a victim receives a phone call from someone claiming to be a local court worker who tells the victim they failed to report for jury duty. To further put the victim off-guard, they may say an arrest warrant has been issued. When the victim says they never received a jury duty notice, the scammer asks for personal information to check their records.
“You should be wary of anyone who calls asking for personal information,” said Gallagher. “No legitimate business would ask for such information by phone.”
This latest identity theft scheme has already been reported in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington state.
Gallagher said this scheme seems to be a spin-off of one in which a caller or an e-mailer poses as an employee of a financial institution requesting information to re-activate a victim’s bank account. And Gallagher has echoed concerns from Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson that scammers may set up fake charities to prey on people’s sympathy for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Gallagher offered these tips to Floridians:
The new courthouse in Indian River County, named for the scenic body of water running between the barrier islands and the mainland along Florida's Treasure Coast. America's first National Wildlife Refuge was established on Pelican Island in the Indian River by Theodore Roosevelt in 1903.