INDIANAPOLIS — The Better Business Bureau is warning about a scam that puts a new twist on an old tactic.

Scammers have long used intimidation to get you to give up information or money that you shouldn’t. 

Someone posing as a debt collector may try to squeeze you into giving up money or banking information. Scammers may also say they’re from the sheriff’s office and claim to have a warrant for your arrest, unless you pay them.

With this new scam, the BBB said you will get a phone call from someone claiming to be a “process server.” They may claim that someone is taking you to court, or there is a lien against your home, because of an unpaid medical bill or something similar to that. 

They might also be mysterious, claiming they can’t disclose details until your papers are served. They will then start asking you to “confirm” sensitive information like your birthday, Social Security number, phone, number or address. 

They will make it sound very urgent like you have to act right now, which is a classic scam tactic.  They might even get angry if you hesitate.

Don’t fall for it.  

This isn’t the kind of thing you will be notified about over the phone, unless it is your own attorney calling to alert you. In general, if you are being served, it will be in person or through certified mail.

The BBB said you should always be wary of scare tactics. Scammers love to intimidate people with the threat of fines or legal action. You can also search for your name in court listings. In Indiana, you can search MyCase to see if your name actually comes up in any court filing.  

The scammer may already have some of your information–don’t give them more. If they already have your name and birthday, they might sound official. But that probably just means they got it from a data breach and are using it as a doorway to get more from you.

If that is the case, and you suspect your information has been leaked online, it might be time to purchase some identity theft protection services.