Phone Scammers Posing As U.S. Marshal
Enoch “Nick” Willard, U.S. Marshal for the District of New Hampshire, wants the public to know that he will never call you directly regarding court matters, and he is angered at the imposter that is shamefully targeting innocent civilians in this manner.
The U.S. Marshals were alerted to a recent phone scam where the threat of a federal arrest warrant is being used to trick people into sending money. “These callers are spoofing our office’s phone number and greeting people using my name to appear legitimate, but I assure you they are not” Willard said. “Nobody from the U.S. Marshals Service would ever ask for banking information, request wire transfers or payment via gift cards for any purpose, and we encourage people to hang up the phone and report the call immediately.”
The U.S. Marshals are urging people to report the calls to their local FBI office (https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us), 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 that data with law enforcement.
During these calls, con artists attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. Potential victims are given options for satisfying payment to include purchasing a prepaid debit card or gift card and reading the account number over the phone or face certain arrest.
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. Deputy U.S. Marshal Andrew Grillo stated, “although it is not uncommon for law enforcement and court officials to reach out regarding court matters, they would never demand immediate payment of money to prevent arrest over the phone.”
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 bank routing 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 a scammer references 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.