Look out for fake arrest warrants, a scam growing in sophistication

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) issued a Scam Alert on Monday, urging Kentuckians to be vigilant against scams involving fake arrest warrants bearing the forged signatures of court personnel and law enforcement officers.

It’s an old scam, but one that innocent people are victimized by every year, as it becomes more refined. Here is how it works.

Scammers are sending fraudulent warrants, demanding payment to avoid arrest. While such scams are not uncommon or isolated to Kentucky, the forgeries are becoming more sophisticated. The fraudulent warrants may display the Kentucky Court of Justice seal, a case number and list various charges including such offenses as failure to appear and missed jury duty.

Email newsletter signup

In these types of scams, recipients are typically instructed to call a number to get a settlement, provide personal identifying information, wire money or provide gift card numbers.

Scammers may even fake a phone number on caller ID so that the call appears to be from a court facility or another government agency. A valid arrest warrant would not be served by phone, text or email. Kentucky courts and law enforcement will never demand payment over the phone or a gift card number to satisfy an obligation.

To verify legal actions, contact the Circuit Court Clerk in the county indicated in the communication you receive. Individuals who have been contacted or victimized by scammers should immediately contact their local law enforcement agency.

The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm of the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 413 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.