Scams and Fraud

The Office of Angelina “Angel” Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller wants individuals to be aware of scams and frauds reported to this office.

Property Deeds for $89-$100

Property Records, LLC sends property owners in the postal mail an offer to provide the owner a copy of their deed and details about their property for a cost. The price can vary from $89 to over a $100. The company is also known by County Records, LLC.

You can get a free copy of your deed through the Clerk’s Public Records Hub. For details about your property visit the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office at www.ManateePAO.gov.

Missed Jury Duty

A phone scam where individuals impersonating law enforcement target unsuspecting citizens by phone claiming the person missed jury duty and demands they pay a fine or risk imprisonment. The fine usually needs to be paid in the form of gift cards. 

How to Immediately Recognize a Jury Scam:

Phone Calls Regarding Missed Jury Duty: The Clerk & Comptroller’s office never contacts jurors by phone. Keep in mind that all official jury-related communications are sent through postal mail. If you receive a call claiming you missed jury duty, consider it a red flag.

Aggressive and Threatening Behavior: Law Enforcement officials will never resort to threats or intimidation tactics. If the caller displays aggressive behavior or demands immediate action, it is likely a scam. Be cautious and remain skeptical.

Demands for Immediate Payment: Scammers often insist on prompt payment of fines to avoid arrest. It’s import to note that the Clerk’s office or law enforcement will never ask for payment over the phone. Stay alert if the caller instructs you to purchase gift cards, especially green dot cards, as they are equivalent to cash and untraceable. Remember, never provide gift card information over the phone under any circumstances.

If you encounter a suspected jury phone scam, it’s crucial to report it promptly to the relevant authorities. The following contact information can help you take action:

Spoofing

Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust. If you answer, they use scam scripts to try to steal your money or valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity. 

Visit the Federal Communications Commission website to watch a video to learn more about spoofing and how to avoid being scammed.

If you think you've been the victim of a spoofing scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC.

E-Filing Portal Scam

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. The Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller will never email you a jury duty summons or court appearance. If you are summoned for jury duty or to appear in court, you will receive an official notice in the postal mail from our office.

Other Fraud and Scam Alert Resources