SCAO says: Beware of scammers

The Michigan State Court Administrative Office is warning Michigan residents and lawyers to be on alert against a new scam that has been reported in other states. In this scheme, a text message could appear on your phone, claiming to be from a local court, saying that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. But the “court” offers you a way out, according to SCAO: you can quash the warrant by calling the number provided and paying $500 by credit card.

State Court Administrator Chad Schmucker said that the way the scam works is that the victim receives a text message, stating that he or she is on a “failure to appear” list, and has an outstanding warrant.

“The text then instructs the victim to call a phone number to pay up to avoid being arrested. To make the demand seem plausible, the scammer often uses the name of an actual local court or court official,” Schmucker said. But, he said, Michigan courts don’t use text messaging to advise people that they’re subject to arrest.

Schmucker said to not even call the number in the text message. But report the text to the police, and to the court that the message sender claims to represent.

The Michigan Supreme Court Office of Public Information reminds people:

  1. Be suspicious if a person calls, e-mails, or texts you claiming to be a court official.
  2. Be skeptical if you are told, “In order to avoid arrest or prosecution, you must provide a Social Security number for verifying your identity.
  3. Be suspicious if the caller, e-mail or text message sender pressures you for immediate payment or other action, or refuses to send you written information to review.
  4. Never give out bank account, credit card or Social Security information over the phone who calls you or sends you a message.
  5. Report suspicious calls, e-mails and text messages to the police.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s