New phone scam targets Delaware residents

 <a href=“”>red phone (</a>

red phone (

Don’t be fooled by a telephone scam using the Delaware Justice of Peace Court to take advantage of people.

According to Delaware officials there appears to be a new scam using a phone number registered to the Justice of Peace Court. On the line, there’s also a caller demanding bail money on behalf of an imprisoned relative. Investigators are calling the technique, “spoofing.” That’s when scammers use a legit number to convince people the call is real.

“It is important for people to know the Justice of the Peace Court WILL NOT call individuals and request payment of a loved one’s bail,” said Mark Hitch of the Justice of Peace Court in a statement. “Any calls of that nature would come from the loved one themselves and not a court employee. Justice of the Peace Court employees will NEVER call the relatives of someone being held on bail and demand payment over the phone.”

The Justice of Peace learned of the scam after a number of complaints to the office. Officials said the fraudulent calls came from people asking for $500 to secure the release of a relative. Those who have been contacted said the call would be immediately disconnected if the recipient attempted to get details.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“In recent years this type of phone scam has become common, most recently with callers claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service and demanding immediate payment over the phone,” Hitch said. The general rule is to never give out personal information over the telephone unless you can verify the call officials said.

The phony calls are now under investigation. Anyone who has been victimized by this scam is urged to contact Mark Hitch with the Justice of the Peace Court at 302-323-6333.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal