U.S. Marshals, FBI Warn Against Imposter Phone Scams Targeting Consumers Nationwide

The scammers claim that you failed to report for jury duty, or committed another similar offense

U.S. Marshals, FBI Warn Against Imposter Phone Scams Targeting Consumers Nationwide
Image: Pexels
June 7, 2018

The U.S. Marshals and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have issued a joint consumer alert, warning the public to be on the lookout for several nationwide imposter scams involving individuals who contact consumers by phone and claim to be U.S. marshals, court officers, or other law enforcement officials.

The Ploy

The scammers claim that you failed to report for jury duty, or committed another similar offense. They say that a warrant has been issued for your arrest, but that the arrest can be avoided if you pay a fine over the phone using a prepaid debit card, such as a Green Dot card.

These con artists use numerous tactics to sound credible. They sometimes provide information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges, and courthouse addresses. They may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller ID as if they are calling from the court or a government agency.

Report All Suspected Scams

Consumers who are contacted by these scammers are urged to report the calls to their local FBI office and file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has the ability to detect patterns of fraud from the information collected and share that data with law enforcement.

Tips to Protect Yourself

To help protect yourself from becoming a victim of these scams, always remember:

  • 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 FBI office and to the FTC.
  • You can remain anonymous when you report.
  • Authenticate the call by calling the clerk of the court's office of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the court order given by the caller.