For several years running, a new scam surfaces around this time of year, that falsely uses the name of the court or a judge to steal money from some of the most vulnerable in our community. This time, the scammers targeted at least one disabled woman and others. Through a phone call, a scammer claimed he was with the sheriff’s department; that the intended victim had a warrant for skipping jury duty and needed to pay up on a $2,500 bond. The scammer gave a fake name, a bogus badge number and even offered up a phone number. He added that the victim missed a court date with a District Court judge, and instructed her to go the grocery store to get a pre-paid form of payment for the bond.
“The community must remain vigilant to protect themselves and guard their personal information and financial resources from these scams that continue to re-surface,” said District Court Chief Judge David Barker. “I commend those who reported this scam for their actions and advise others who receive suspicious solicitations to report them to law enforcement.”
Other scams tried in the past, made via telephone, mail or e-mail, have included fake judgments that required money, and an assortment of phony warrant scams. The scammers are hard to catch and prosecute. Many of their victims are seniors on a fixed income and just want to stay on the right side of the law. Potential victims should independently verify all claims, and thoroughly examine and verify any paperwork or e-mails that asks for money.