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Scammers using fake court summons to extort the unsuspecting

The hottest fraud of 2020, according to the FTC, was imposter scams — when criminals impersonate a government official, a law enforcement officer, a business, or a trusted friend or family member to trick victims into sending money. A new form of the scam we’re seeing is con artists posing as court representatives, telling people they have missed a court date or failed to show up for jury duty and intimidating victims into paying bogus fines by threats of arrest.

Libby, a consumer living in Washington, DC, recently became one such victim and agreed to share her story with us. Libby was contacted by someone posing as a police sergeant who claimed to be reaching out because she had missed a court summons. The scammers impressed upon her that she could be arrested and held for 72 hours if she failed to cooperate. Horrified, and thinking of her young son, Libby urgently needed to take care of the matter to ensure she was able to continue to care for him.


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