Identity thieves will do just about anything to get your personal information.

Although not known to be happening in our area, a new scam is occurring in many parts of the country, and police want local residents to be aware of new scams and vigilant about protecting personal information.

The scammers call and claim to work for local courts, say you've failed to report for jury duty, and tell you that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Victims rightfully claim they never received a jury duty notice.

The scammers then ask for confidential information for "verification" purposes so they can cancel the warrant. Specifically, the scammers ask for Social Security numbers, birth dates, and sometimes even for credit card numbers and other information - exactly what the scammers need to commit identity theft.

Victims are clearly caught off guard, are concerned about the prospect of a warrant being issued, and are much less likely to be vigilant about protecting their confidential information.

But jury coordinators and the courts will never ask for private information over the phone. In fact, most courts follow up by regular mail.

To protect yourself, never give out your Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal information when you receive a phone call.

It doesn't matter why they are calling - all the reasons are different variations of the same scam.

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