For a clever criminal, impersonating a process server is relatively simple, especially when the faker suggests that they’re connected to law enforcement or the judicial system.
If their target is unfamiliar with the law, that person will be at risk of losing not only their money but their identity and personal security as well.
So how can you tell if your process server is a fake? Follow this checklist in order to keep yourself safe and protect your peace of mind.
Requires payment from the individual being served
The number one sign you’re dealing with a fake process server? They demand payment before completing service. Legitimate process servers never collect money from the document recipient. Ever.
Process servers are always paid by the person or entity that hired them to effectuate service. More importantly, your constitutional right to due process—being made aware of any legal action involving you or taken against you—isn’t for sale.
So when a fake server claims that you’ll be in contempt of court if you don’t pay them in order to receive your documents or that a warrant will be issued for your arrest unless you comply with their demands, remember that you’re never required to pay in order to maintain your due process rights.
Similarly, a trustworthy process server will never indicate that they’ll conveniently fail to complete service in return for monetary compensation.
Needs too much information
It’s a process server’s job to accurately identify and locate individuals in order to serve them necessary court documents. Sometimes this process is relatively simple, but in the case of an evasive individual, research may be required.
Either way, by the time a server is ready to complete service, they’ve gathered the information they need to complete service. Depending on the situation, this may mean just an address, or, in the case of an evasive individual, it may mean information like when they usually arrive home, the color and make of their car, and even information like their favorite restaurant.
So if a server contacts you and asks for too much information (especially confidential information like a social security number), you’re likely dealing with a fraud.
And when those questions involve highly personal or sensitive information, you’re almost certainly dealing with a con artist. Remember, just as a real process server will never ask for payment, process servers don’t need your social security number, bank account, or any other private information.
In fact, interactions with a reputable process server should be minimal. They’ll ask to verify your identity, complete the transfer of documents, and leave. They’ll never harass, intimidate, or ask for an excessive amount of information.
If you’re being harassed or frequently contacted by a fraudulent server, end the conversation and report the incident to local authorities. Make note of any identifying features if the individual approaches you in person, and take note of the name of the agency they claim to be working with.
While a process server shouldn’t ask you too many questions in order to effectuate service, you should also be wary of a server who can’t answer your questions, or who is rude or behaves in a threatening manner.
Usually, the process server involved with your case should be able to point to the docket number on your papers.
While they may not have this information memorized, reputable process workers will be able to produce a case number or identify the courthouse where the case is filed. If they can’t (or if they mispronounce the name of your region), you might be dealing with a scammer.
Trust the professionals
At DGR Legal, we exclusively hire well-trained professionals dedicated to getting the job done right. We understand that unprofessionalism is not only unethical to the individuals being served but also potentially harmful to our clients, who need to know that their case is being handled correctly every step of the way.
Contact us today for more information about expediting your case with professional process service you can trust.