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Scam alerts

November 17, 2010

The FBI wants the public to know about a fast-spreading scam involving jury duty summonses.

A fraudulent caller claims to be a jury coordinator who accuses the target of ignoring a summons. If the target protests that he never received a summons, the scammer asks for a Social Security number and date of birth, in order to verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant.

But anyone who surrenders that information likely is on the path to being a victim of identity theft.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Illinois. It is particularly insidious because the thieves use intimidation over the phone, trying to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system.

The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their Web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Follow this link to an FBI notice —; and this link to a site that debunks rumors —  

Sprinkler tests

Local dealers are reporting getting notices from their sprinkler service companies, indicating that special services or system tests—which frequently cost thousands of dollars—are required.

The notices, said Phil Troy, president of ComplyNet, a CATA allied member, have more to do with marketing than with fire safety. 

"Unless you get a notice from your local governmental agency, or unless the sprinkler service is the regularly scheduled one, it probably is not a good idea to modify your equipment," Troy said. 

"Your local village or municipality may already have plans in the works to require new upgrades to sprinkler systems and may have already selected the equipment they will require. 

"If a dealership selects equipment or designs that do not meet forthcoming changes, the work may have to be re-done and the equipment replaced," Troy said.