Contributed By: Jon Freeman
You may have heard of people calling you and trying to scam you into giving money by saying they are from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or some other federal government agency. If you have not then be aware of this and read the blog posts I wrote on Identity Theft and Tax Related Identity Theft. There are other scams involving people claiming to be from the the local government you should be aware of too.
It is not just fraudulent calls from people falsely claiming to be from the IRS that citizens need to be wary of right now. Jury duty scams are on the rise again, so watch out for these fraudulent calls. Typically the caller says it’s the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Office calling to tell the victims that they didn’t show up for jury duty and that they now owe a fine, which can be paid over the phone with a prepaid debit card. The Gwinnett County’s website even says, “Gwinnett County’s law enforcement agencies do not call people to demand money.” If someone does call you saying they are from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, and they tell you that for some reason you need to immediately pay a sum of money over the phone, don’t do it. If you need to you can always call the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Office to verify the situation.
According to the Gwinnett County government’s website, every year, thousands of potential jurors in Gwinnett are selected randomly by computer from a database. These people are then summoned by mail. The summons explains the one-day-or-one-trial system and gives instructions on when and where to report for duty. If you don’t show up, they contact you again – also by mail.
If you’ve been scammed, report it to the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Division at 770-619-6655.
You can read a story about this type of scam on consumer advocate Clark Howard’s website.
Remember that you can always get personal finance information from the Gwinnett Library’s GCPL Personal Finance Guide.