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Utah BBB Warns Consumers about Jury Duty Scam

The Utah Better Business Bureau has issued a statewide warning to alert Carbon County residents about a criminal scam involving jury duty.

Several states have reported calls from the public complaining of telephone callers trying to get personal account and Social Security information by posing as a worker for the court system, noted the Utah BBB alert.

The telephone callers reportedly claim to be court officials and indicate that they are following up on the person's failure to show up for jury duty.

When the victims state that they never received notification to report for jury service, the callers ask for Social Security or personal financial account information to verify the targeted individuals' identity, pointed out BBB Utah.

The alleged scammers sometime threatens the victim with fines or even a warrant for arrest.

Many times, the victims of the fraudulent telephone callers are caught off guard and agree to furnish their personal information.

The jury duty scheme apparently represents the latest in a series of identity theft scams hitting the United States and Canada, cautioned the Utah Better Business Bureau.

Carbon County residents can protect themselves by simply refusing to give personal information over the telephone to unknown callers, emphasized the private, non-profit state agency.

The judicial system will never contact people by telephone and ask for personal information, emphasized the non-profit private organization.

The Utah Better Business Bureau encouraged Carbon County residents who receive similar calls to hang up the telephone and immediately contact local law enforcement agencies to report the incidents.

Local consumers who may be targeted by the suspicious callers may also contact the Utah Better Business Bureau toll-free at 1-800-456-3907.

The Utah BBB recommended that Carbon County residents consider following several tips to prevent identity theft.

The protective measures include:

•Having personal check orders delivered to banks or credit unions.

Having personal checks sent to home addresses can put Carbon County consumers at risk for identity theft if someone steals the financial transaction documents from the individuals' mailboxes, stressed BBB Utah.

•Refusing to reveal personal financial account or Social Security numbers to unfamiliar solicitors, telephone callers or companies requesting the information.

Consumers should also determine exactly how the information will be used before.

•Dropping bill payments at the post office or postal collection boxes.

•Avoiding the use of common words or numbers for passwords and personal identification numbers.

The Utah BBB is a private organization providing services to consumers and businesses across the state.

The primary focus of the non-profit organization's activity is to promote an ethical marketplace by encouraging honest advertising and selling practices along with offering dispute resolution.

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