The Division of Real Estate has been informed by the Denver Police Fraud Unit that a Jury Duty Scam is currently being directed at Colorado real estate brokers. This is how the scam is operating:
A phone call is received from a local phone number or caller ID showing your local Police/Sheriff’s Department. The calls also have recently come in through Zillow. The numbers and caller ID identifiers are spoofed and are not true representations of where the call is coming from. The caller identifies themselves as a ranking officer from your jurisdiction. The caller will provide some personal identifying information of the victim to gain their trust which was obtained from the Internet and public lists. The caller will explain that the victim failed to show up for Jury Duty and they will need to go to their local police department/jail and turn themselves in. Once they have caused panic, they then give you the option to cancel out your warrant by going to a local grocery store and purchase several hundred dollars in gift cards (Google Play, Itunes, NetSpend, etc.). The scammers tell the victims to not talk to anyone about this or they will immediately be arrested. After the victim purchases the gift cards, the caller will request the codes from the back of gift cards. Once the codes are provided to the scammer, the funds are immediately depleted from the card(s). During this phone call, the scammer may also request a copy of your ID as well as your Social Security number to verify your identity. The caller discontinues the call and the victims identity is immediately compromised.
Through the Fraud Unit’s investigations, the scam is designed to intimidate and sometimes use fear to extort money as well as Personal Identifying Information (PII) through fraud and deceit. In some instances the scammers have used the threat of violence to intimidate their victims.
If you ever receive a request to purchase gift cards for an unknown person and are asked to provide the codes from the back, it is a SCAM! Never provide your Social Security or PII to anyone over the phone. If you are unsure who you are talking with, hang up, look up the number on the Internet and call them directly. Do not depend on the number they are calling from or the number provided by the probable scammer. No local Police/Sheriff’s Department will threaten you over the phone with an arrest warrant for missing Jury Duty, ask for your SS# or request payment via gift cards. If you receive one of these calls, hang up on them. If you suffer a financial loss due to this scam, call your local Police/Sheriff’s Department to file a crime report.
If you are contacted under these circumstances, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency. By reporting these scammers you are assisting in the investigation and possible prosecution of these individuals, as well as preventing you and others from being victimized by this Jury Duty Scam.