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Jury duty scam making rounds

WORTHINGTON -- According to the Better Business Bureau, a classic scam is back in action.

People across the country are receiving fake voicemails and text messages stating they have missed jury duty and need to pay a $500 fine or face arrest.

More than a dozen states have issued warnings about the scam, which tries to scare victims into giving out personal information.

The scammers leave voicemails and text messages telling recipients they have to return the calls immediately to avoid jail time.

Scammers have used a variety of phone numbers with area codes originating from different states.

When the victim calls back, the scammers ask for personal information, including social security and credit card numbers.

With enough details, the scammers can assume a person's identity and drain his or her bank account.

The BBB offers tips for avoiding the scam, stating that as a rule, jurors are not summoned via text message or phone.

Courts generally communicate through the mail. Never provide credit card or social security numbers to anyone claiming over the phone to represent the court system over the phone.

Any questions about jury duty should be directed to local court systems.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) states jury scams have been around for years, but every few years there is resurgence.

The scam's bold simplicity may be what makes it so effective," the FBI warnings states. "Facing the unexpected threat of arrest, victims are caught off guard and may be quick to part with some information to defuse the situation."

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