SPOKANE, Wash – According to the U.S. Marshals Service, there are several nationwide telephone scams of callers soliciting money and claiming to be U.S. marshals, court officers and other law enforcement officials.
In one scam, the caller attempts to collect a fine for failing to report for jury duty. The U.S. Marshals Service said they do not call anyone to arrange payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty or any other infraction.
The Marshals Service said another scam tells call recipients they won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes and are asked to pay a fee in order to receive the prize.
The U.S. Marshals Service said these scammers may provide information like badge numbers, the names of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges and courthouse addresses to try and appear credible. Scammers may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller ID as if they are calling from the court or a government agency.
U.S. Marshals Service Officials said the scammers tell victims they can avoid arrest or claim a prize by purchasing a prepaid debit card or gift card and reading that number over the phone. The Marshals Service said they urge the public not to divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers, even if they sound legitimate. Actual court orders can be verified through the clerk of court's office of the U.S. District Court in your area.
The Marshals Service said if you believe you were a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to your local U.S. Marshals Service office.
According to the statement from the U.S. Marshals Service, these are some things to remember:
- U.S. Marshals will never seek payment of fines via the telephone for individuals who missed jury duty or have outstanding arrest warrants.
- U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
- Don’t divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
- Report scam phone calls to your local U.S. Marshals Service office.
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