The Washington State Attorney General Wednesday released information about a new scam making the rounds, this one involves one or more people posing as the Washington State Supreme Court clerk.

Now initially, most of us would probably catch on and think "why is the state SUPREME court calling me?"  If the person were posing as a local County clerk, and claiming we'd committed an offense and owed money, more people would probably bite on it.

But this scam has been targeting mostly people with Hispanic names, and apparently has been able to swindle a significant amount of money. Officials say they're preying on the often unsuspecting minorities, who sometimes don't fully understand what's legit and what's not with our legal system. Language barriers (comprehension) also seem to be helping the scammers.

But some non-Hispanics have been randomly targeted as well.

The clerk calls the person, and claims they've violated certain laws or are facing immigration issues. A fine must be paid, money wired to the 'clerk,' or pre-paid money cards obtained and the access numbers given over the phone.

The Attorney General's office reminds people, like any local, county or other law enforcement agency or court, no one from the State will EVER call you on the phone to threaten arrest or demand money.

IF you or someone you know receives such a call, take these steps:

  • Don't panic or give in to demands.
  • Remain calm, note the number they're calling from on Caller ID if possible
  • Try to get as much information about that person as you can
  • Refuse to pay the money, but keep them on the phone as you try to get details
  • Immediately report all information to local law enforcement, and you can report it to the AG's office as a complaint. That website can be accessed directly by clicking here.

Authorities say these tips are useful when dealing with ANY suspicious caller or suspected scammer.