Many of you must be aware of the email and phone scams going around –
“You’ve won a free trip to Dubai but have to pay $200 to claim it”;
“A foreign prince needs to transfer money to your account”;
There are several more out there, but here’s one that’s not quite popular, but we’d like to warn you about it: fake process servers.
Several people are unacquainted with the legal process and do not know what’s expected of them when encountered with a ‘process server.’ This provides scammers with a chance to take advantage of people in a grim situation.
7 Ways to Spot a Fraudulent or Fake Process Server
Here are seven ways you can spot a process server scam.
#1: They offer to pretend that they couldn’t find you for an incentive
Generally, a legal case can’t proceed until you’ve been officially notified about the action taken against you. Thereby, a process server is just there to serve you that notice and provide evidence to the court.
So, if they ever offer to lie about your whereabouts, they’re behaving unethically. Typically, in return, the person would ask for money as an incentive or for some other valuable item or service. This is a big indication of a process server scam, so don’t get carried away by the offer.
#2: They offer to make the case go away
As a court case can’t proceed till the defendant has been served, an individual committing a process serving scam may claim to make your court case go away through failing to serve you. Nonetheless, there are numerous other ways to serve you; the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney might hire another process server if the first one fails to accomplish the service process.
#3: They make harassing phone calls
A legit process server would always show up in person to serve your court papers. They would never call you to inquire about your whereabouts or make threats if you do not show up to accept the paper. Therefore, if you ever face a similar situation, immediately report it to the authorities.
#4: They may try to negotiate debt
You might be getting served because a creditor is trying to retrieve their debt. A fraudulent process server may claim to be able to negotiate your debt. But remember, they do not have the power to do this. Any cash you turn over is simply going to go in their bags. The court case against you will continue, and you’ll owe just as much as you did earlier.
#5: They try to collect money for the case
A fake process server might try to collect money from you once you’re served allegedly for the case. The scammer might claim it’s an attorney fee, court fee or some other expense. Keep in mind that your lawyer will always directly bill you, and you’ll always be asked to pay the court expense through applicable channels. So, if something like this ever happens with you, know that you’re being scammed.
#6: They have trouble pronouncing the name of your city/country
If the server has difficulty in pronouncing the name of your city or country, then they’re most probably a scam. Most litigants typically search for local process servers; hence, they must obviously know how to pronounce your neighborhood correctly.
#7: They can’t provide you with any information about the case
Process servers generally deliver papers related to actual court cases that have captions listing the parties involved, i.e. you and another business or person, the country and state where the case is filed and often a case number as well. Servers can have a plethora of documents with them at any time and might not remember the specifics of your documents offhand, but they can always check their stack and let you know.
Thus, if a process server ever says they can’t tell you any of the case information or they have sealed court documents, it’s probably a scam.
Process Server in Baltimore, Maryland
We hope with these seven tips, you will be able to spot a fake process server the next time you see one! If you are an attorney or law firm tired of fake process servers or somebody who’s facing difficulty in serving court documents to a recipient, you can count on us for reliable service. EGA Process Serving specializes in serving the impossible by utilizing comprehensive resources and up to date technology.