Press Release
Office of the Tulare County District Attorney
County Civic Center
221 S. Mooney Blvd., Rm 224
Visalia, California 93291
(559) 733-6411
   
Date: April 19, 2006
 
FRAUD ALERT: JURY DUTY “PHISHING” SCAM


The Office of the Tulare County District Attorney, Phil Cline, District Attorney, White Collar Crime Unit, Consumer Fraud Unit, the Elder Abuse Prosecution Program and the Elder Abuse Advocacy and Outreach Program issue the following warning: Phone calls from persons posing as court officials have been reported in eleven states. The person states he or she is a jury coordinator and an arrest warrant has been issued for missing jury duty. The con artist then requests personal information such as Social Security Number and birth date to “verify” information so the arrest warrant can be recalled and canceled. Sometimes a credit card number is requested. This is a “phishing” scam and will result in identity theft. The phone caller uses intimidation, fear and the threat of arrest to steal information.

The Court system, both State and Federal, do not make such calls.

We recommend anyone receiving such phone calls to not respond in any manner. Social Security Numbers, banking information such as account numbers, routing numbers and next of kin are the open doors for criminals to electronically steal money and identity. Such information should never be given to persons or companies whom you do not have a trusted relationship. We further recommend if you are contacted by mail, email or over the phone about your bank account give no information, personally contact your banking institution and call your local police department, the Sheriff’s Department, or the District Attorney’s Office. If you are a senior citizen, in addition, you may also call Tulare County Adult Protective Services (559) 733-6585 or the District Attorney’s Office Elder Abuse Unit at (559) 733-6754. More information may be obtained by calling the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Advocacy and Outreach Program at 559-733-6754 or log on to www.da.tulareco.org


Contact Person:

WILLIAM YOSHIMOTO
Supervising Attorney
(559) 624-1054