Indianapolis, Indiana – June 22, 2022: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has received reports from victims who have been contacted by scammers claiming to be with the “sheriff's office,” requesting that the victims pay fines allegedly ordered by Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt for failure to appear for jury service.
This is a scam. A court will never call someone and demand a payment. 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, has no outstanding warrants, and has not been summoned for jury duty.
Residents of the Southern District of Indiana who believe they have been the victim of such a scam are encouraged to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.
Here is additional information on things to remember, who to call, and what to do if you are contacted by a scammer:
- 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.