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U.S. Marshals alert public of latest scam spoofing official phones

Unknown number calling in the middle of the night. Phone call from stranger. Person holding mobile and smartphone in bedroom bed home late. Unexpected call woke up.

MILWAUKEE — The U.S. Marshals in the Eastern District of Milwaukee are alerting the public of an imposter phone scam where con artists are spoofing the district office’s real number to trick people into sending money.

The U.S. Marshals are urging people to report the fraudulent calls to their local FBI office and file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which has the ability to detect patterns of fraud from the information collected and share the data with law enforcement. You can contact the FBI HERE. 

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 a gift card and then read the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine.

Scammers use many tactics to sound credible. They sometimes provide information like badge numbers, name of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges, and courthouse addresses.

If you believe you were a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to your local FBI office and to the FTC.

Things to remember:

  • U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bankrouting 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.
  • If scammer provides a court order, 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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