U.S. Marshals Alert Public of Phone Scams

1 min read


Seattle, WA
– The U.S. Marshals Service in the Western District
of Washington are alerting the public of a warrant phone scam where
scammers claim to be U.S. Marshals and call unsuspecting victims telling
them they have outstanding warrants and need to pay fine amounts to
prevent arrest.

If called by someone claiming there is a warrant
for arrest related to missed federal jury duty, subpoena, or other
offenses, do not make any payments to them. Neither the U.S. Marshals
Service, nor the U.S. District Court, will ever call to request payment
of fines over the phone.

The caller may use a variety of tactics
to sound credible and may identify themselves as a Deputy U.S. Marshal,
law enforcement officials, court officers, or a federal judge. They may
provide information like badge numbers, case numbers, names of actual
law enforcement officials, public servants, and federal judges. They may
also spoof their phone numbers to appear on Caller ID as if they are
calling from a courthouse or a government agency like the U.S. Marshals
Service.

During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine
in lieu of arrest by requesting a wire / transfer of funds or purchase
prepaid debit cards, such as a Green Dot card or gift card, and read the
card numbers over the phone.

You can get help determining the
authenticity of a call by contacting the U.S. Marshals Service at (206)
370-8600. US District Court Case information can be verified by calling
the Seattle Clerk’s Office at (206) 370-8400 or Tacoma Clerk’s Office at
(253) 882-3800.

If you believe you were a victim of a scam,
report the incident to your local FBI office and file a consumer
complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has the ability
to detect patterns of fraud from the information collected and share
that data with law enforcement.

Things to remember:

  • U.S. Marshals will never
    ask for credit /debit card / gift card numbers, wire transfers, or
    bank information for any purpose.

  • Don’t divulge personal or financial
    information to unknown callers.

  • Report scam calls to your local FBI office
    and to the FTC.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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America’s
First Federal Law Enforcement Agency