U.S. Marshals urging public to report imposter scams to FTC - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

U.S. Marshals urging public to report imposter scams to FTC

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WASHINGTON -

The U.S. Marshals want you to know of several nationwide imposter scams from people claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers or other law enforcement officials. 

During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. They then tell victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and read the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine.

U.S. Marshals are urging anyone who receives a call like this to not only report it to them, but also the Federal Trade Commission. 

The FTC has the ability to detect patterns of fraud from the information collected and share that data with law enforcement. 

“The information people report to the FTC can help law enforcement investigate and track down the perpetrators,” Deputy U.S. Marshal Corey Cunningham said in a press release. “The U.S. Marshals would never ask for a credit/debit or gift card number or banking routing numbers or ask for funds to be wired for any purpose. If the caller is urging you to provide this type of information or any other personal or financial information, hang up and report the call to the Marshals and the FTC. You can even report to both agencies anonymously.”

Scammers will use tactics that sound credible, such as providing information like badge numbers, federal judges or courthouse addresses. Scammers may also be able to appear on caller ID as if they are calling from a court or government agency. 

“While these callers may sound legitimate, we urge people to question their validity,” stated Deputy Cunningham. “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.” 

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 and to the FTC.

Tips to remember from the U.S. Marshals: 

  • U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
  • Do not divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
  • Report scam phone calls to your local U.S. Marshals Service 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. 
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