The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York warned Friday of a spoofing scheme that is misusing district court numbers.
The Southern District court said it has received reports that calls are being made by individuals who falsely represent themselves as an employee of the court and then tell people that their grandchildren were in a car accident and were arrested. The callers ask people to send money to get a grandchild out of jail, the court said.
The court said calls were using the clerk’s office main phone number, 212-805-0136, and other similar 212-805 numbers in spoofing, when someone falsifies the information transmitted on a caller ID display.
“This is a scam; recipients should not engage with these calls or provide any personal information. The court does not call to perform financial transactions of any kind over the telephone,” the court said in an announcement Friday.
The court cited guidance from the Federal Communications Commission that advises caution when responding to any request for personally identifiable information. “If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request,” the court’s notice said.