Current Scam Alerts

Angelina “Angel” Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of Court would like to warn Manatee County residents of the following scams and frauds that have been going around:

  1. The most recent scam, which mirrors similar attempts over the last several years, mentions places in the western Panhandle region of Florida. Many pretend to involve a Florida case involving inheritances or are “catfishing” schemes, in which the scammer impersonates an online dater who is interested in meeting and needs money to pay off legal “debts.”
  2. An e-mail scam where the e-mail may appear like it’s coming from the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal (electronic filing system) or the Clerk of Court asking you to open an attachment or click on a link to view a summons for court or jury duty. The attachment or link may download a virus or attempt to steal your personal information. If you are summoned for jury duty or to appear in court, you will receive an official notice in the mail from the Manatee County Clerk of Courts, not an email.
  3. A telephone scam where the caller claims that you missed jury duty. The caller will claim to be an official with the Clerk’s office or a local law enforcement agency and tell you that you are facing arrest and jail time unless you cooperate. The caller will then attempt to “authenticate” your identity by asking for personal information like your date of birth and social security number, or the caller will tell you that the “bail” can be paid to them in person or by wiring them the money immediately. Some will even offer to take your credit or debit card over the phone to pay the bond so you are not arrested. If you are summoned for jury duty, you will receive an official notice in the mail from the Manatee County Clerk of Court. And, if you miss jury duty, the Clerk’s office will not call or e-mail you asking for payment.

Other Fraud and Scam Alert Resources