(ANNAPOLIS, Md., March 24, 2016) – The Maryland Judiciary is warning the public about a new telephone scam that uses the threat of lawsuits in local courts to extort money or obtain personal information from people by leading them to believe that they are the subjects of legal actions.
The new scam, which has been reported in Kent County, involves a caller claiming to represent a “pre-legal division” calling about an allegedly “intentionally defrauded” loan that has been forwarded to the District Court. The caller names a local bank, as well as the local court, and demands “payment” to avoid court proceedings.
This call is a scam. Anyone receiving such a call should hang up immediately. Anyone receiving a message claiming the above should not respond. The Maryland Judiciary has notified the Offices of the State’s Attorney in Kent County and Queen Anne’s County about these scams. People affected by these or other scams may also contact the Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, 410-528-8662 or toll free 888-743-0023, as well as local law enforcement.
Courts do not call people to notify them about the filing of a lawsuit against them. When a lawsuit is filed in District Court, notification is made by certified mail by the court or the person being sued is served with documents. Further, courts do not call or email people to obtain payments or personal information. Courts do not request credit card or PayPal payments by email or telephone. As a general reminder, do not provide any personal information, credit card or bank information to a caller or in response to an e-mail claiming to be from a court. If you have received a call or email about a court case or a warrant for arrest, contact the District Court or Circuit Court in your jurisdiction. Contact information for each court is available on the Maryland Judiciary website’s courts directory.
For more information about scams related to lawsuits, as well as other types of state and federal court scams, go to prior releases on the Maryland Judiciary’s website,www.mdcourts.gov/.