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Arizona affected by jury duty scam comeback

A jury duty phone scam that has been around for several years is making a comeback — and it is hitting close to home.

Failing to complete jury duty comes with harsh penalties, which has made citizens more vulnerable to falling victim to this scam.

“It’s really effective because it uses the government and the threat of government as leverage,” said Kase Chong, Director of Marketing for Scambook.com, a complaint resolution platform.

This scam, which began in 2005, has resumed in multiple states including Arizona, Oklahoma, Illinois, Colorado and Oregon.

Victims are being confused by scammers who request a Social Security number and date of birth to “verify” their information. With this information, scammers are armed for identity theft, tax fraud, hacking into bank accounts or other illegal purposes.

To avoid falling for this jury duty phone scam, Scambook advises the following tips:

• Jury summons will come by mail, not over the phone.

• An official government representative will not harass or make threats over the phone.

• Don’t give your Social Security number or any personal information over the phone.

• Never agree to give money, in any form, to a caller.

• If unsure of the caller’s intentions, ask for their information. Take the time to do your own research to validate the person’s identity and their intentions.

KTAR’s Sandra Haros contributed to this report.