Fake summons ID theft scam?

By W. WINSTON SKINNER winston@newnan.com This past week, an individual arrived at the Coweta County Justice Center expecting to be in a pool for jury duty. The summons, however, was fake. Clerk of Superior Court Cindy Brown said the bogus summons appeared to have been made by someone who had seen one or at least had access to one.
"The summons had apparently been scanned into the computer," Sheriff Mike Yeager said. "It was either scanned or cut and paste." "They can't spell," Brown said of the document creator. "They had a lot of misspellings." Yeager noted the fake summons instructed the person to go to the county commission chambers in the county administrative building. Some court proceedings were held there prior to the construction of the new facility. A letter attached to the summons told the recipient to call a telephone number to get excused from jury duty. A call to that number resulted in a request for personal information such as birthdate and Social Security number. Initially, there were concerns that the summons was part of a planned burglary -- with the summons being used to get the person away from the residence. Law enforcement officers were sent to check the residence periodically. No problems were reported. Yeager said the letter indicates that identity theft was more likely the motivation behind the fake summons. "It looked like maybe an ID-type scan," Yeager said. Someone who has the birthdate and Social Security number of an individual might be able to "steal" that person's identity, using their credit to run up debts. Clearing up identity theft issues can be difficult and time-consuming. "We do not deal in [Social Security numbers] from this office at all," Brown said. She said no one from her office would ever request that kind of information. Yeager said anyone who is uncertain about the validity of a summons should call Brown's office at 770-254-2695. He also cautioned Cowetans about giving personal information to someone over the telephone. It is not known if fake summons were sent to other county residents. "I've just seen the one," Brown said.

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