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U.S. District Court warns of scam emails

Spoofers are using the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s phone number and other information to intimidate and scam people.

On Monday, 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 (317-229-3729). The scammers are also using Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt’s name to scare people into paying money to the scammer.

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 1-317-229-3700 and legitimate court staff will verify that the victim does not owe any money.

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://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

Here is additional information about 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 1-317-229-3700 to verify that the court is not requiring any action from you and that the 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.

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