Federal officials discuss phone scam involving jury duty

HOUSTON – Federal officials discussed a phone scam involving jury duty during a news conference Monday.

The scam is being run more frequently lately.

Gary Blankinship, U.S. marshal for the southern district of Texas, said the caller provides the person with information, titles and badge numbers of legitimate law enforcement officers or court officials, names of federal judges and courtroom addresses in an effort to lend credibility to the scam.

Scammers will leave voicemails and have set up fake voicemail prompts to further convince their victims of the legitimacy of the call.

The scammers will also use sophisticated electronic equipment to hide where the numbers are coming from. Officials said this scheme is known as spoofing.

"We can't stress this enough, no law enforcement official will ever call you by the phone and demand money," Blankinship said. "The best way to keep from being a victim, is, don't make yourself a victim."

He also urged people to spread the word if the scam hits you.

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