FRAUD ALERT: TWO SCHEMES TO GET YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Fraudsters impersonating Clerk’s office employees to get bank accounts, other info
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 16, 2013) – Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller Sharon Bock is warning residents about two scams where people are impersonating Clerk’s office employees to get personal information such as bank accounts and Social Security numbers.
“It is extremely important to remember that Clerk’s office employees will not call you to request money or your personal information,” Clerk Bock said.
In one scam, people claiming to be Palm Beach County court clerks are calling citizens around the country to inform them of money from a timeshare fraud settlement in the court registry. These fraudsters tell their targets that they must first wire money to claim a portion of the settlement. The callers identify themselves with a three-digit “clerk I.D.” number and call from phone numbers with a 561 area code.
Clerk’s office employees do not have three-digit identification numbers, and would never call to request money in order to claim proceeds from the court registry.
The second scam involves text messages regarding jury duty. The texts come from a 704 area code, and tell recipients that they missed jury duty and now must pay a $500 fine or face misdemeanor charges.
While the penalty for missing jury duty is not $500, the consequences are serious. Anyone who misses jury duty is subject to a $100 fine, ordered to appear in front of a judge and held in contempt of court.
“If you receive one of these calls or texts, make sure to write down as much information as you can about the call, and contact my office as soon as possible,” Clerk Bock said.
Anyone who sent money because of one of these scams also is urged to contact local law enforcement.
For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call (561) 355-2996.
The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.
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