I did a search of the news and noted local stories in Arizona and Virginia about this scam, also.
According to the FBI, "The judicial system does not contact people telephonically and ask for personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth or credit card numbers. If you receive one of these phone calls, do not provide any personal or confidential information to these individuals."
"This is an attempt to steal or to use your identity by obtaining your name, Social Security number and potentially to apply for credit or credit cards or other loans in your name. It is an attempt to defraud you."
If you are approached with this sort of activity, please report it to your local FBI field office, which can be found at www.fbi.gov.
Identity Theft is a crime costing the U.S. (alone) 53 billion dollars a year and claims roughly 9 million victims. Here are some tips from the FBI on how to avoid identity theft:
- Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements in a usable form.
- Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
- Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
- Keep a list of telephone numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
- Report unauthorized financial transactions to your bank, credit card company, and the police as soon as you detect them.
- Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries and follow through until they are explained or removed.
- If your identity has been assumed, ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
- If you know of anyone who receives mail from credit card companies or banks in the names of others, report it to local or federal law enforcement authorities.