Maryland courts warn of return of 'bench warrant' scam

Scammers are calling residents of Baltimore County and enticing them to pay hundreds of dollars to avoid arrest, Maryland court administrators warned Friday.

The “bench warrant” scam has been recently reported in Baltimore County. A similar scam targeted Howard County families last year.

In the scam, a caller claims to be an officer from the local sheriff’s office. This caller claims a judge has issued a bench warrant in the resident’s name for failing to attend a hearing that morning. When the resident tells the caller they did not receive a summons, the caller claims it was sent to their work address — giving the actual address — and that someone at the office signed the certified mail receipt.

The caller instructs the resident to drive to a location and obtain a “bond voucher” for hundreds of dollars.

Courts do not call people to notify them about a bench warrant, nor do they instruct them to bring a “bond voucher.”

Anyone receiving such a call should hang up immediately, Maryland court administrators said. Those affected may call the Office of the Attorney General, 410-528-8662 or toll free 888-743-0023

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