Scam Alert involving Fake Circuit Court Clerk's Office Phone Number
We received several fraud reports today where our residents received a phone call from the Logan County Circuit Clerk's Office at 479-963-2164 stating they owe money due to a legal claim and to avoid court, they need to pay. If they do not pay, a deputy from the Sheriff's Office will come to their house. The residents are then given a 1-800 number to call and are asked to pay by card or over the internet. Some even received a receipt by email and fake documents by email showing they owe a debt. This is a fraud.
The fraudsters are "spoofing" the Logan County Circuit Clerk's Office's phone number so it looks real. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states: "Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust. If you answer, they use scam scripts to try to steal your money or valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity" (www.fcc.gov/spoofing).
Unfortunately, spoofing a number is easily done and very hard to trace. There are applications on cell phones that can spoof someone else's phone number. The Circuit Clerk's Office and the Sheriff's Office DO NOT call and ask for you to pay so if you receive a call, it is a fraudulent call. Call us at our main numbers at (479) 963-3271 for the Paris office or (479) 675-3718 for the Booneville Office to verify. The Northern District Court Clerk's Office in Paris does send out letters but they do not call.
I know this can be confusing on Circuit Courts and District Courts but the common thread here is that the Court Clerks and Sheriff's Office WILL NOT call you asking you to pay a debt. Always call one of the numbers above or come by one of our offices and we (the Sheriff's Office) or one of the clerk's offices can verify.
Also, do not give any banking or financial information over the phone or through an email you received (called "phishing" where the email looks like it is from a real business but it is fake). Also, many scammers ask that you get cards from Walmart, Home Depot, etc. Always verify. If you have family members who are seniors, please speak with them about scams. Many of these scams are done over landline phones since the scammers know that seniors are more likely to still have landlines.