There are many scammers out there that are intent on separating innocent, hardworking people from their hard-earned money. Process server scams are no different. Charlatans pose as professional process servers in order to deceive unsuspecting victims and terrorize them into paying large sums of money or sharing personal information (which can be used in fraudulent ways to make money down the road).
Since process servers are crucial to the legal process, and they are professionals that command a certain amount of respect, their prestige and job function can be used in unscrupulous ways to prey on the fears and vulnerabilities of those that are not as informed about the operations of the legal system.
Here are a couple of the most common process server scams that con artists use:
The Creditor Payoff Lawsuit Scam
In this scenario, imposters of process servers will call or email the victims, or even show up at their residences or places of business. They will attempt to gain their targets’ confidence by using private, personal information in order to earn their trust. These types of details can be easily found online, especially now, in the age of social media. Many times, swindlers even resort to purchasing information in bulk from data breaches. That all said, presenting these accurate facts upfront gives scammers an air of legitimacy that lends credence to their later claims.
Once they gain the marks’ trust, they make a demand for an immediate payment to ward off a fake lawsuit which they are claiming to serve them for. Most of the time there is no lawsuit, and paperwork can be faked easily by using free templates found on the internet. Also, official-looking badges can be bought easily on Amazon. They are made overseas and are used by children for playing cops and robbers. Don’t let the appearances of fake process servers fool you!
That said, if there actually is a lawsuit, or not, no process server will be tasked with the responsibility of accepting payment from a litigant. Lafayette process servers do not read the complaints against folks because that would be a violation of the privacy that they vow to protect, so they aren’t even aware of what any potential suit entails. All they do is ensure that legal paperwork is delivered to the right parties and that this is done in accordance with the law.
The Strong Arm Tactic
Another tactic used to extort money from a victim involves threatening them with an arrest if they refuse to pay immediately. This is a horrible scam that only works on those that have no knowledge of how the legal system works as a whole. First of all, as stated above, Baton Rouge process servers do not collect payments. Second of all, though sheriffs in some parishes serve papers, the average process server is not a police officer, and he or she can’t make an arrest. Lastly, no one has been put in prison over a debt owed in over 100 years! (Though six states may lock you up if you violate an already-established court order by not paying, but it wouldn’t involve a process server.)
In conclusion, it is important to be vigilant and observe supposed Metairie process servers for red flags at all times. Never give them any additional personal information over the phone when asked, and never pay any costs to someone posing as a process server. If you are still unsure about a specific situation, you should call the court yourself, speak with a trusted attorney in your area, or contact law enforcement.
Take Care at Process Server Scams Are on the Rise | Take Care
Better Business Bureau at BBB Scam Alert: This phishing scam claims a process server is looking for you
WATE Channel 6 Knoxville at How to spot a potential court document, process server scam | WATE 6 On Your Side
Lafayette Process Servers at How Do I Know if a Process Server is Legitimate? – Lafayette Process Servers
Baton Rouge Process Servers at Do process servers usually give you a phone call – Baton Rouge Process Servers
Credit Info Center at I Received a Call About Being Served Papers. What Should I Do?
Metaire Process Servers at How to Spot a Process Service Scam – Metairie Process Servers