The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is warning Hoosiers of scam phone calls being made by “spoofing” the federal district court’s main phone number to intimidate residents, the federal court alerted in a Wednesday announcement.
“Today, the Clerk’s Office began receiving phone calls from individuals who had been contacted by people claiming to be with the ‘court,’ and whose number on the recipient’s caller ID appeared as the court’s actual main phone number (317-229-3700),” the statement says.
Specifically, the district court said that call recipients were informed that:
- they are under investigation for prostitution;
- they are under investigation for sex trafficking;
- they will be arrested or there is a warrant out in their name, or;
- they must pay money in order avoid arrest.
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 District Court Clerk’s Office at 317-229-3700, the alert says. Those reporting the scam calls will remain anonymous.
Similarly, incidents can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov, and the U. S. Marshals Service at 317-226-6566.
The court noted it will never ask for credit, debit or financial account numbers over the phone for any purposes and that fines are never imposed until after an individual has appeared in court.