Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
mmerz@atg.state.il.us

March 28, 2006

*****CONSUMER ALERT*****CONSUMER ALERT*****

 IDENTITY THIEVES CALLING ILLINOISANS IN JURY DUTY SCAM

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today warned Illinois residents that unsuspected calls purportedly from the court system may actually be from identity thieves trying to scare residents into believing they have shirked their jury duty responsibility and must hand over personal information to avoid being arrested or fined.

Madigan today confirmed that federal and local courts will never ask residents to provide personal and financial information over the phone. Madigan suggested that residents hang up the phone immediately if they receive this scam phone call.

“Illinoisans know that it is their civic responsibility to attend jury duty and may believe this is an official call. However, real court employees will never call you at home and ask for social security numbers, credit card numbers or other personal information ,” Madigan said.

Madigan said that an official jury summons comes in the mail and asks the potential juror to provide his or her birth date, employer, marital status and a list of children, among other information. However, a jury summons does not ask for the potential juror’s Social Security number or financial information.

Reports of this and other identity theft scams should be reported to Madigan’s new Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630. The TTY number is 1-877-844-5491. Madigan’s hotline, activated in February 2006, is the first of its kind in the nation, offering a dedicated toll-free number staffed by advocates specially trained to help victims repair their credit, dispute fraudulent debts and prevent future victimization.

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