Federal Court Scams
Malicious phone calls and emails targeting people and others who interact with the federal courts, instructing them to take action, may lead to people being scammed out of money or personal information.
Posing as judiciary officials, scammers target potential jurors, court interpreters, court reporters, and others by trying to collect personal information and/or money, and threatening fines, prison time or other penalties if they fail to comply with certain demands.
If you receive a threatening phone call or email, refrain from disclosing any information requested. Federal courts will never use a phone call or email to request personal or financial information, or to threaten recipients who don't comply.
Be skeptical of any emails or calls that:
- Ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
- Ask you to provide any sensitive information, like your date of birth or social security number.
These calls and emails, which threaten recipients with fines and jail time if they do not comply, are fraudulent and are not connected with the federal courts.
Doing business with the court?
Jurors: Most contact between a federal court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. mail, and any phone contact by real court officials will not include requests for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information.
Court Interpreters and Court Reporters: If you’re serving as a contract court interpreter or reporter and you receive a phone call or email asking for sensitive information, make sure you recognize the email sender or caller from prior interactions with the court or office. If you don’t recognize them, decline to respond. Go to the court’s website and call the court directly to confirm it’s a legitimate request.