This phishing scam claims a process server is looking for you

FRESNO, Calif., June 30, 2023 – Many scams start with an intimidating phone call. A “debt collector” needs you to pay immediately. Or a “police officer” claims to have a warrant for your arrest. The latest variation involves a phony process server and a non-existent court case against you. BBB Scam Tracker has gotten numerous reports of this new twist. Here’s how to spot it.

How this scam works

You receive a call from an unknown or blocked number from a person claiming to be a process server. They might say there is a lien on your home or someone is taking you to court over unpaid medical bills. In other cases, the scammer may be secretive, saying they can’t reveal details until your papers are served.

Next, they’ll ask you to “confirm” sensitive personal information, such as your date of birth and Social Security number. When you’re hesitant to give out this information, they stress the urgency of the matter – after all, you’re being taken to court! If you ask too many questions about who is making a complaint or what company the process server works for, the scammer will get angry.

The people behind this scam don’t have any legal papers to deliver, they want to get their hands on your personal information to commit identity theft.

See the full article for a real life example of this scam.

How to avoid similar scams:

  • Be wary of scare tactics. Scammers love to threaten people with legal action or hefty fines, scaring them into giving up their personal information. They hope fear will make you act without thinking. Always remember representatives of a reputable business or legal office will be polite and civil, even in a serious situation. They won’t pressure you to act immediately “or else.”
  • Search your local court website. If you think there’s a chance someone has filed a lawsuit against you, check your local court’s website. Search your name to see if any lawsuit has been filed. If nothing comes up, you’re in the clear.