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Court warns about telephone scams

Officials are warning the public about a telephone scam that spoofs the name and telephone number of a Virginia court on caller ID.

The alert comes from the Office of Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia:

Callers claim to be representatives of a Virginia court, inquiring about the location of individuals, or demanding monies or personal information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers.

Unless you have contacted the court to make a payment and requested that someone return the call, court personnel will not initiate a call with you to collect payments. Please be advised that Virginia courts never request credit card information or personal identifiers, such as social security numbers, by telephone.

Credit card payments should only be made in a court clerk’s office or through secure online applications, such as the Virginia Judiciary Online Payment System or the General District Online Case Information System, which are available on Virginia’s Judicial System website.

Virginia courts do not call private citizens to threaten or demand money. The public is cautioned to never give out personal information to unknown callers. If you receive a call about a court matter and are uncertain about its legitimacy, use the general contact information for all courts, which can be found on the judicial system website, to contact the court directly.

If you have received one of these calls, it is recommended that you contact the Federal Trade Commission. If you are a victim of one of these calls, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

To learn about recent scams and how to recognize the warning signs, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Scam Alerts.