Heath's Blog


Jury Duty Scam Verified By The FBI - Identity Thieves

The FBI has verified, on their web site, that there is a "Jury Duty Scam". This is a phone related scam, so if you know anyone who doesn't use the Internet, especially older people, you should make sure they do not become a victim. The caller claims to be a court officer, and then accuses the victim of missing a jury duty appointment. After the victim is sufficiently worried about failing to report for jury duty, the caller then suggests that they verify if they have the correct person. It is at that point that they ask for ss number, birth date, and sometimes even credit information.

The caller works the conversation into a threat of a fine that can be paid over the phone by a credit card. What is amazing is that this has been going on in some form since early 2005! If you have one of these calls, or know someone who has, one thing to do is *69 after you hang up. This will give you the phone number that the call was made from.  Then contact the FBI and report the incident.

You can also use *57 which records the phone call at the phone company as a "call trace". One web site says: "When you activate the Call Trace code (*57) immediately following the harassing call, the caller's phone number is recorded by the phone company."  But *57 doesn't give you the phone number. The phone company has to get an authorization form before the harasser's phone number can be turned over to law enforcement and there may be a fee. Some phone companies charge you each time you use Call Trace and others have a monthly charge for an unlimited number of traces.

If the phone number is blocked, tracing the call may help the FBI or other law enforcement agencies gather enough information to go after the schemers even from the perspective of "Do Not Call" fines and penalties, especially if your phone is on the DNC list. In any case, don't get your identity stolen this way. Tell someone who might be a victim to be careful, too.

Heath Coker, Associate Broker
Robert Paul Properties
www.CapeGroup.com / capegroup@capegroup.com
508-274-5613  Licensed in MA
Its a beautiful day on Cape Cod!
@CapeGroup  Skype: heath.coker

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There is always someone trying to scam others and it's sad the older generation are often the victims.

Posted by Mark Watterson, Utah Real Estate almost 11 years ago

Heath- Excellent information. We have alot of elderly that are not on the Internet. I will definitely pass it on.  Thanks

Posted by Dick and Dixie Sells, Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale (Sells Real Estate, LLC) almost 11 years ago

Heath, this is one where I can see people falling for the scam. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 11 years ago


Stories like these make us sit back and wonder what has happened to our society. It really sucks that scammers have found a way to use jury duty this way. Thank you for providing a solution to the problem. I had no idea that *57 would record the call at the phone company. I'm thinking of all the other uses for *57. Such as harassing calls from bill collectors, lien holder's etc. Oh. And how about those telemarketers. We could tell them we're pressing *57. I wonder how they'd react to that one :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Heath, I hadn't heard about this one.  Thanks for the info on *57.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 11 years ago


I received a call that it was urgent to call a number that was supposedly the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. A 'case number' was cited. I called the nimber and got a message to leave my case number and Tax ID Number! This is a scam to harvest SS #'s so beware

Posted by Kristal Pooler, Cottages to Castles on Boston's North Shore (Kristal Pooler & Associates. Coast & Country Properties Inc.) almost 11 years ago

When there's a will, there's a way.  Too bad these guys don't spend that much time and energy making their communities a better place. 

Posted by Jim Cheney, Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055 (Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA) almost 11 years ago

Appreciate the heads up.  It's no wonder people don't trust each other anymore!!  I suppose the message here is don't give anyone your ssn number - ever!

Posted by Yvette Gardner (Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC) almost 11 years ago

When the economy "tanks", every dirt bag in the world comes out of the woodwork to introduce new ways to cheat the public, especially the elderly.  Very sad.

Posted by Tom Boos, Providing the very best of service to Sellers and (Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living) almost 11 years ago

I will make my elderly parents aware of this scam. Thanks for the alarming scam. I wonder if *57 can be used on political campaign calls

Posted by Claude Cross, Charlotte NC Homes For Sale (Homes By Cross, Inc. ) almost 11 years ago

Will wonders ever cease.  It is amazing that if these criminals worked as hard at making an honest living they would be millionaires.  Instead they want to steal it.

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Maximum One Executive REALTORS®) almost 11 years ago

Great info, thanks for sharing. Never heard of the *57 before, thanks for sharing.

Posted by Dianne Hicks (Realty ONE Group) almost 11 years ago

Thanks for the info.  I will have to remember the *57 option in the future.

Posted by John Cassels, NMLS #197076 (Sterling Savings Bank) almost 11 years ago

Unfortunately TLW, many REALTORS are telemarketers if they cold call. I personally don't (even though I concede that it does work) because I hate to recieve them so I have an issue with doing so myself but I know many still do. 

Posted by Diana Hoyt (Lakes Region Buchanan Group, Ossipee, NH) almost 11 years ago

Heath - It is really sad that we have to be suspicious of just about everything these days. Thanks for sharing this information. Hard to believe this has been going on since 2005.

Posted by Judy Jennings, Tap into Judy's real estate expertise & resources. (Top Agent Plus) almost 11 years ago


Thank you for posting this information and I will definitely pass it on.



Posted by Sharon Senger, Licensed Transaction Coordinator (tcDocs) almost 11 years ago

Great! I didn't know about the *69 or the *57. Really glad you shared that with us.

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

That is interesting stuff. I'll have to remember the numbers!

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) almost 11 years ago

Many of the residents in Florida are targeted by these scammers.  Knowledge is power.  Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention.  This is worth a re-blog!  Thanks.

Posted by Kari Battaglia, PA, Love Where You Live (RE/MAX Platinum Realty) almost 11 years ago

It is just plain irritating that people are making money cheating others especially the elderly... thanks for a good way to try and catch some of them... I did not know wbout the 57 thing at all...good info

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) almost 11 years ago

Hi Heath,  Certainly seems well thought out and no doubt has resulted in many nice folks getting ripped !   May these dirt bags be brought to justice in front of a jury of their victims !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 11 years ago

Hi Heath -- Older people tend to bear the brunt of these scams, so I hope everyone tells their elderelyparents, etc.  I didn't know about *57 -- good to know, thanks.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) almost 11 years ago

Good information and post, I have not seen this where I am, but will be on the look out for it. Thanks

Posted by James Lyon (Vista Pacific Realty) almost 11 years ago

Man, it drives me crazy when these dirtbags target our senior citizens.  Drives me nuts!

Posted by SEO Expert: Michael George, Real Estate and Law Firm SEO almost 11 years ago

Yikes - that is scary - all of these tactics to scam people out of money.  In this economy, more of this is to be expected.  Thanks for letting us know about this.

Posted by Emily Lowe, Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty) almost 11 years ago


It seems that there are more scammers out there now than normally. This is solid info for everybody, in addition to those who get fake jury duty calls.

Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 11 years ago

Wow Heath, that is TERRIBLE. Why does everyone target the elderly? These are truly sad times. Thanks for the warning.

Posted by Mark Velasco, Top Producing COMMERCIAL Team 30+ years experience (Sharpstone Commercial) almost 11 years ago

Heath - What's next?  Although nothing really surprises me these days.  Thank you for the post!

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) almost 11 years ago

I am glad this has been so helpful. I got very frustrated when my mom would get taken advantage of by people like this.

Posted by Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker, Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA (http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com) almost 11 years ago

I've heard about this latest scam, Heath...thanks for putting it in a blog post that I can re-blog here! :)


Posted by Bob & Leilani Souza, Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments (Souza Realty 916.408.5500) almost 11 years ago