The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana said people have been reporting receiving phone calls from the court demanding money.
INDIANAPOLIS — A federal court is warning Hoosiers about scammers who are using the name of a judge to try to scare people into giving them money.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana said they received several calls Monday from people who said they received a call from someone claiming to be from the court, demanding money. The caller ID on the scam call even showed up as the court’s actual phone number, 317-229-3729, and the callers even reportedly used the name of Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to carry out their scam.
“A court will never call someone and demand a payment,” the court said in a news release. “If you receive such a call, hang up immediately. You can then call the court directly at 317-229-3700, and legitimate court staff will verify that the victim does not owe any money.”
The court said those who live in the Southern District of Indiana, which includes most counties in central Indiana south to the Ohio River, who believe they’ve been victimized by such a scam should report it to the Federal Trade Commission at this link.
The court also provided the following recommendations to avoid becoming a victim of a scam caller:
- Authenticate an email or call by contacting the Clerk’s Office of the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis at (317) 229-3700 to verify that the court is not requiring any action from you and that the scam call did not come from the court.
- Do not divulge personal information or financial information to unknown callers, including those who claim to work for a government agency.
- A court will never ask for a credit/debit card number, gift card number, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers over the phone or by email for any purpose.
- A fine will never be imposed until after an individual has appeared in court and been given the opportunity to explain a failure to appear.
- Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission.
- You can remain anonymous when you report.