The U.S. Marshals wish to warn the public about several nationwide phone scams involving individuals who claim to be U.S. marshals, court officers, or other law enforcement officials.
During these calls, scammers tell victims they must pay a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. They inform victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card, like a Green Dot card or gift card, and read the card number over the phone.
Scammers sometimes provide information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges to sound official. They may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller ID as if they are calling from court or a government agency.
“While these callers may sound legitimate, we urge people to question their validity,” said Pamela Mozdzierz, Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal, in a press release. “The easiest way to do this is to call the clerk of the court’s office of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the court order. If an order does not exist, someone just tried to swindle you out of your hard-earned cash.”
Tips to remember:
- U.S. Marshals never ask for credit/debit/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
- Do not divulge personal or financial information to someone over the phone.
- Report scam phone calls to your local U.S. Marshals Service office and to the FTC.