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- PHONE SCAM (March 2016):
Across the United States, individuals posing as federal court officials and U.S. Marshals are targeting citizens, threatening them with arrest unless they pay.
"This year's scams are more aggressive and sophisticated than we've seen in years past," says Melissa Muir, Director of Administrative Services for the U.S. District Court of Western Washington. "Scammers are setting up call centers, establishing call-back protocols and using specific names and designated court hearing times."
A federal court will never threaten an individual or demand the immediate payment —either over the telephone or money wire service— for fines or for not responding to a jury summons.
Click here to view more information.
- EMAIL SCAM (July 2014):
The federal judiciary has learned that citizens are being targeted by a juror phishing email that asks recipients to provide personal identifiers (SSN, DOB, mother's maiden name, etc.) on an attached PDF form and emailed back to the originator. This scam is using "EJuror Program," as the source of the email in its attempts to obtain personal identifiers.
Federal Courts using eJuror never request that personal identification information be sent directly in an email response. Requests by courts to complete a qualification questionnaire would be initiated by formal written correspondence and provided instructions for the juror participate to be authenticated over a secure connection. Please do not respond to any emails requesting personal identification information regarding jury service.
- EMAIL SCAM (January 2014):
The federal judiciary has learned of an email scam, in which emails purporting to come from federal and state courts are infecting recipients with computer viruses.
According to the Security Operations Center of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the emails are instructing recipients to report to a hearing on a specified day and time
or in the form of an eviction notice. The emails also instruct recipients to review an attached document for detailed case information. When the attachments or links in the email are opened, a malicious program is launched that infects the recipient's computer. Several state courts have reported similar schemes, and also are warning the public about potential viruses.
Unless you are actively involved in a case in federal court and have consented to receive court notifications electronically, you generally will not be served with court documents electronically.
Click here for examples (without the virus).
- PHONE SCAM (August 2013):
Throughout the United States, including in Minnesota, citizens are being targeted by phone calls and threatened with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts. For more information, please read the public notice.
- ARREST WARRANT SCAM (June 2014):
You've received a warrant by fax
or email saying a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the
government wants to arrest you. Charges may be for money laundering or bank
fraud, or missed jury duty. To avoid arrest, the warrant says, send money. It's
a scam. The warrants may display a bogus logo of an unspecified "United States
District Court," a case number, and various charges. Typically, recipients are
instructed to call a number to get a "settlement" or to wire money to avoid
arrest. The warrant is phony. A valid warrant would not be served by fax or
e-mail. It would be served in person by a U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement
Anyone receiving a fake arrest warrant should contact the FBI or the
district U.S. Marshals Office. If there is any question regarding the
authenticity of a warrant, contact your district clerk of court. The fake arrest
warrants have been reported across the country, including in the District Courts
for the Southern District of Ohio, Southern District of Illinois, New Mexico,
Western District of Kentucky, Utah, the District of Columbia, and throughout
Florida. Anyone demanding or obtaining money or anything of value while
impersonating an officer or employee of the United States may be fined and/or
imprisoned up to three years.
- EMAIL SCAM:
If you receive an email from "firstname.lastname@example.org", please do not open the link inside the email. The link will install a virus on your PC or network. This email was NOT sent by the U.S. Courts. If you receive one of these emails, you are advised to delete it from your inbox. If you wish to view a "safe" example of one of these bogus emails, view the Subpoena.