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For Immediate Release

Contact:
December 09, 2021 Andrew Wong, Senior Inspector 
Western District of Washington - Seattle (206) 674-0609;
U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
U.S. Marshals Alert Public of Phone Scams

Seattle, WA – The U.S. Marshals Service in the Western District of Washington are alerting the public of a warrant phone scam where scammers claim to be U.S. Marshals and call unsuspecting victims telling them they have outstanding warrants and need to pay fine amounts to prevent arrest.

If called by someone claiming there is a warrant for arrest related to missed federal jury duty, subpoena, or other offenses, do not make any payments to them. Neither the U.S. Marshals Service, nor the U.S. District Court, will ever call to request payment of fines over the phone.

The caller may use a variety of tactics to sound credible and may identify themselves as a Deputy U.S. Marshal, law enforcement officials, court officers, or a federal judge. They may provide information like badge numbers, case numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials, public servants, and federal judges. They may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on Caller ID as if they are calling from a courthouse or a government agency like the U.S. Marshals Service.

During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest by requesting a wire / transfer of funds or purchase prepaid debit cards, such as a Green Dot card or gift card, and read the card numbers over the phone.

You can get help determining the authenticity of a call by contacting the U.S. Marshals Service at (206) 370-8600. US District Court Case information can be verified by calling the Seattle Clerk's Office at (206) 370-8400 or Tacoma Clerk's Office at (253) 882-3800.

If you believe you were a victim of a scam, report the incident to your 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.

Things to remember:

  • U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit /debit card / gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank information for any purpose.

  • Don’t divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

  • Report scam calls to your local FBI office and to the FTC.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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America’s First Federal Law Enforcement Agency