IN Northern District warns residents about phone scam involving fake law enforcement

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The United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana is warning residents about what it calls a common and reoccurring nationwide telephone scam currently circulating in the district.

According to the court, several community members have reported receiving calls and voicemails from an individual claiming to be a lieutenant or sergeant wanting to discuss an urgent legal matter.

In such scams, callers will pose as local law enforcement and contact victims, accusing them of failing to appear in court or claiming that they have a case pending in 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. District Court, U.S. Marshal’s, and the Sheriff’s Office will never call to solicit funds or collect fines over the phone,” the court said.

Also, juror summonses are sent through the mail, and communication through other mediums should be considered suspicious.

The Northern District is reminding residents to be aware that scammers may spoof — a process of deliberately falsifying the information transmitted to a 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,” the court advised.

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