You get a phone call.  The caller gives you a name and an important-sounding title and says you didn't report to Jury Duty.  They give you dates and times you were supposed to be there.  You say, "I didn't know I had jury duty!"  They tell you there is now a warrant out for your arrest.

There is good news, though.  All you have to do is pay a small fine over the phone.  They just need your name, your social security number and a credit card number and they will clear the warrant.

If you haven't already, this is when you should hang up the phone -- you're being scammed.

Scams like this have been around for a long time.  You can read more about it on

As a rule, the government doesn't like to call you.  They don't want to TALK to you -- they just want to tell you things.  If they want to tell you something, you'll get a letter.  If you don't get a letter, don't believe it.  Honest people can be caught off guard when they get calls like this.  The scammer is waiting for you to bite so they can then steal your identity and take you for all they can get.

If you really think it might be legit -- hang up.  Then, open up the phone book and find the actual government office.  Call them directly and ask about the call you received.

Protect yourself -- and protect your friends and family by giving them the information to NOT be a victim.