If you get a call from someone claiming to be a court officer or U.S. marshal, you should probably hang up the phone.
The U.S. Marshals Service is alerting the public that scammers are calling people to con them out of their money. The callers tell people that they’ve been fined for failure to appear at jury duty or that they’ve won a prize and must pay a fee to receive it.
However, the Marshals Service does not use phone calls to arrange payment of fines for any kind of infraction.
Victims are told that they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card and reading the number over the phone. The Marshals Service urges the public to not give out personal or financial information over the phone and to verify actual court orders through the clerk of the U.S. District Court in their area.
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The scammers will typically use actual badge numbers and actual names of court officers, U.S. marshals, federal judges and other law enforcement officials, according to the Marshals Service. They may also spoof their phone number to appear as if the call is coming from a clerk of court’s office in the area.
If you think you’ve been the victim of this attack, the Marshals Service asks that you report it to their office in your area.