When Sam received a phone call from a process server, he racked his memory to come up with why someone would want to take him to court.
“The caller had a blocked number,” the Boise resident says. “They told me they had some legal paperwork to serve me and wanted to verify my address and social security number.”
In this world where everything is online, he went to the State Repository for any new court cases under his name and didn’t find anything. He called the Ada County Courts, fearing that perhaps he’d missed something. The clerk did several searches and found nothing.
“I was beside myself,” Sam says. “I was puzzled why they would need my social security number, as well.”
While Sam didn’t have a company name or phone number – it was blocked – he did call BBB to see what he should do to protect his identity.
Aggressive collection tactics plague residents, as loan agents try new methods to find defaulting borrowers by acting as process servers.
Scammers are posing as process servers and showing up at your place of work and home, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Idaho does not need a license to be a process server. A group, Idaho Process Server, has established a set of guidelines – Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure – that should be followed. The guidelines do not set out what a process server can ask of an individual. The group refers to the Idaho Judicial Branch for questions and concerns. It, too, does not outline process server standards.
High-pressure collection tactics have also evolved. In one complaint, a fake process server actually came to the victim’s work. In another instance, he/she came to a victim’s home. In both cases, the alleged process server said the victim could avoid going to court if he paid immediately.
BBB heard someone posing as a victim called Ada County Court and asked for personal information.
“The caller had an Indian accent and had a blocked phone number,” says the court clerk, who asked to not be identified. “He gave a name and wanted to see if he’d paid the judgment. He was trying to use legal language to learn if a judgment had been satisfied.”
Apparently, this man didn’t have the case number, just the name.
“I searched the name he gave and found only one case, and I mentioned there was only one case and he said that had to be the case,” she says. “He said he wanted to verify this was the right person and asked what the SSN and address was for the person. I answered that we don’t give out personal information like that.”