There are several nationwide imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. marshals, court officers or other law enforcement officials, a U.S. Department of Justice news release said Tuesday.
U.S. Marshals are urging the public to report these calls to both their local U.S. Marshals Services Office and the Federal Trade Commission, which can detect patterns of fraud from the information gathered and share that data with law enforcement.
The Western District of Texas-Midland Division of the U.S. Marshals Service can be reached at 432-686-4100.
During these calls, the release said, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses, and tell victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card, such as a gift card, and read the card number over the phone to pay the fine.
The release warned that these scammers use tactics such as providing badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and judges, and courthouse addresses to sound credible, and may also spoof their phone numbers to appear as if they are calling from the court or a government agency on caller ID.
U.S. Marshals will never ask for any credit card numbers, wire transfers or bank routing numbers for any purpose, the release said.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of such a scam is encouraged to report the incident to their local U.S. Marshals Service office and to the FTC at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.