Were you contacted by someone pretending to be a U.S. marshal? Report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Macon, GA - The U.S. Marshals Service for the Middle District of Georgia, wants the public to be aware of threatening phone calls from imposters pretending to be U.S. Marshals Service employees, attempting to fraudulently obtain money.
The Marshals Service were alerted to recent phone scams in which individuals were threatened with being arrested on a federal warrant if they did not pay money. The phone scammers are using this tactic to trick people into paying money. Scammers use many 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.
During these calls, the imposters may give potential victims options for satisfying payment in lieu of arrest, to include bitcoin deposits, wire transfers, purchasing a prepaid debit, gift card, or cash card, and providing the card numbers to the scammer. The scammers may also request to meet at a physical location to collect the money.
If a citizen receives a potential scam phone call, the U.S. Marshals are urging the public 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, then it is likely the individual is being scammed.
The public should be aware that no one from the from the U.S. Marshals Service would ever ask for money, banking information, request wire transfers or payment via gift cards for any purpose. If a person receives a scam call, they are encouraged to hang up the phone and report the call immediately.
The U.S. Marshals are urging people to report the scam 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.
Things to remember:
- The U.S. Marshals Service WILL NEVER ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers, or to make bitcoin deposits for any purpose.
- NEVER 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.
- The Department of Justice launched the National Elder Fraud Hotline, which provides services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud. Case managers assist callers with reporting the suspected fraud to relevant agencies and by providing resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed. The hotline’s toll-free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).