Notice of Various Scams Using the Name and Seal of U.S. Courts
If you receive a suspicious document, phone call, or e-mail that purports to be from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, please call your local U.S. District Clerk's Office and report it as soon as possible. Here are examples of some of the latest scams:
Fictitious Arrest Warrants
An arrest warrant bearing the court's name and/or seal that states you have committed a crime and that you may avoid arrest by paying money.
Fictitious Jury Telephone Calls
A telephone call from a caller who states that you may be prosecuted for failing to appear for jury service and then tries to obtain sensitive information from you over the telephone, such as a social security number, credit card number, and/or date of birth. Court personnel will never require you to provide sensitive information over the telephone. The U.S. District Clerk's Office will only ask you to provide information via the U.S. Mail or through this secure website.
Watch this video to learn more: Judiciary Warns Public About "Jury Phone Scam"
Fictitious Jury E-mail Notices
An e-mail that purports to be a delinquency notice for failure to appear for jury service and then provides a link to a non-judiciary website. Here is an example:
DELINQUENCY NOTICE FOR JUROR 4493-27719: Failure to Appear for Juror Service was sent via first-class mail to you. You have not responded within 30 days from the letter's issuance to explain your absence from the summons of Friday, November 08, 2013 and have not rescheduled another appearance date, or provided evidence in support of a request for disqualification from juror service, as you were instructed to do when you were summonsed. Due to this you may be facing a possible $500 fine and/or charged with a federal misdemeanor of the federal court system which may require 30 days in jail. You may be able to avoid these fines or charges by simply following this link to respond with a request for disqualification from juror service or for reason you have not responded.
This notice will be followed by a website address that does not belong to the judiciary. All judiciary websites end in .gov. Beware of any websites that purport to belong to the judiciary that end in .com, .net, or anything other than .gov.
Fictitious Emails About Phony Court Cases
The federal judiciary has learned of an email scam, in which emails purporting to come from federal and state courts are infecting recipients with computer viruses.
According to the Security Operations Center of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the emails are instructing recipients to report to a hearing on a specified day and time. The emails also instruct recipients to review an attached document for detailed case information. When the attachments or links in the email are opened, a malicious program is launched that infects the recipient's computer. Several state courts have reported similar schemes, and also are warning the public about potential viruses.
Unless you are actively involved in a case in federal court and have consented to receive court notifications electronically, you generally will not be served with court documents electronically.
If you receive an email regarding a federal court case or matter of which you are unaware, you should contact the federal court in your jurisdiction before opening any attachments or links. Use the court locator to find your court's contact information.
Forged Documents Bearing the Court Seal and Fake Letterhead
A fictitious court document, such as an order or judgment, bearing a judge's forged signature and/or the court's seal. You can verify the authenticity of any court document by comparing it against the version maintained in the judiciary's PACER system or by contacting the U.S. District Clerk's Office.