U.S. Marshals warn public to beware of new phone scam

1:44 p.m.

U.S. Marshals warn public to beware of new phone scam

CONCORD - The U.S. Marshals in the District of New Hampshire 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.

"These calls may sound legitimate, but I assure you they are not. The US Marshals would never ask for banking information, request wire transfers or payment via gift cards for any purpose" said U.S. Marshal Nick Willard of the District of New Hampshire. "We encourage people to hang up the phone and report the call to the US Marshals and the Federal Trade Commission. Our ultimate goal is to stop these scam calls and to hold these criminals accountable by bringing them to justice."

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 FTC, which has the ability to detect patterns of fraud from the information collected and share that data with law enforcement.

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 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.

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.
  • 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.