WARNING: Fictitious Arrest Warrant Scam

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Administrative Office of the United States Courts has issued warnings about two new scams potentially involving the federal district courts.  These new scams are similar in nature to a scam that was identified this summer in which citizens were the target of a phone scam that threatened the receiver with prosecution for failure to comply with jury service in federal or state courts.  The threat of a fine for shirking service was used to coerce those called into providing confidential data, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud.
 
In recent days, two new scams have surfaced which involve the threat of criminal arrest if a fine is not paid.  In the first scam, a fictitious arrest warrant on criminal charges is mailed to an individual, offering a chance to avoid arrest through the payment of a specific amount.  The individual is again asked to provide confidential data and a credit card number to clear the charges.
 
The second scam involves a phone call stating that a warrant has been issued and the individual will be arrested if a fine is not paid.  Further complicating the matter is that the calls appear to be legitimate court numbers, but are, in fact, bogus, as technology is being used to spoof the Caller ID system.
 
These requests are not legitimate and do not originate from this court or other court related agencies.  Federal courts do not require anyone to provide sensitive information in a telephone call, including requests for social security numbers or credit card numbers.  It is a crime for anyone to falsely represent himself or herself as a federal court official and such an offense is taken very seriously by the federal judiciary.
 
Persons receiving such a telephone call or delivered mail should not provide the requested information or pay any fines and should contact the United States Marshal's Service at 315-473-7601 to report the incident.  Individuals may also contact the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York at 315-234-8500 to verify that there are no matters pending before this court in their name.