East St. Louis -- The chief federal judge in southern Illinois is warning citizens not to fall for a telephone scam involving jury duty and possible identity theft.
U.S. District Judge David Herndon says the caller poses as a court official and threatens prosecution for shirking jury duty. The caller then tries to extract confidential data from the call's recipient.
Herndon warns the calls don't involve actual court officials, are bogus and could be used for identity theft and fraud if the person called divulges such things as his or her Social Security or credit card numbers.
The judge adds federal courts don't require anyone to provide sensitive information by telephone, with most legitimate contact taking place by mail.
Herndon urges anyone who gets such a call to notify the local federal court clerk.