State court administrator issues new scam warning

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator (OSCA) has issued a warning regarding a new telephone scam that involves the state court system.

According to OSCA, residents have received phone calls from an individual who says they are calling from the local circuit court office. The caller tells the victim that he or she has outstanding parking tickets that must be paid. In one case, the caller used an abusive tone of voice in an effort to intimidate the victim.

The scammers are apparently using an app for smart phones that changes the caller's actual telephone number to whatever number the caller wants to appear. The scammer programs in the number for the circuit court they are say they are calling from, and the victim views the preprogramed number on their telephone.

In addition to the telephone number appearing on the victim's caller ID, the preprogrammed number is called if the victim enters *69 to call the previous caller back.

Officials do not know if the scam is designed to obtain money, credit card numbers or other information.

Chris Fischer, OSCA help desk security officer, has opened a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General's Office regarding the scam. The scam has occurred in at least two locations in Missouri.

Area residents who receive this type of call are encouraged to call the Barry County Circuit Court's office at 847-3133.

Incidents will be added to Fischer's complaint as they are reported.

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