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Increase in Phone Scams

Thursday, December 28, 2023

The U.S. District Court is warning the community about a common and reoccurring nationwide telephone scam currently circulating in the Northern District of Indiana. Several community members have reported receiving calls and voicemail messages from an individual claiming to be a Lieutenant or Sergeant wanting to discuss an urgent legal matter.

In these types of scams, callers will pose as local law enforcement and contact victims accusing them of failing to appear in court or that they have something pending in our court. The caller states a warrant for their arrest will be issued unless a fine is paid. Payment is often requested in the form of gift cards and the scammer will ask the victim to provide the gift card numbers over the phone.

As a reminder, the U.S. Distirct Court, U.S. Marshal's, and the Sheriff’s Office will never call to solicit funds or collect fines over the phone. Additionally, juror summonses are sent through the mail and communication through other mediums should be considered suspicious.

Be aware that scammers may spoof, a process of deliberately falsifying the information transmitted to your caller ID display, phone numbers of law enforcement or government agencies in an effort to disguise their identity and appear legitimate. If you receive a call of this nature, immediately hang up with the caller and verify the claim by calling the Court directly. Never use a phone number provided to you from the caller to verify their credibility.