U.S. Marshals warning of latest phone scam demanding money in lieu of arrest

SEATTLE -- The U.S. Marshals in the Western District of Washington are alerting the public about con artists demanding money from victims for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses.  “We want people to know these calls are scams. The United States Marshals Service will never call the public to request sensitive information for any purpose,” said Acting U.S. Marshal Jacob Green.

During the calls, scammer 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.

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.

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 your personal or financial information to unknown callers.

If s 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.

The U.S. Marshals are urging people to report the calls to their local FBI office https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/ and to 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.