Cleveland, OH – The U.S. Marshals are alerting the public of
several imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S.
Marshals, court officers, and county Sheriff’s Deputies.
Recently, The United States Attorney’s Office in
the Northern District of Ohio and the United States Postal Inspectors
have been investigating a case where scammers claimed to be United
States Marshal Pete Elliott. Scammers have been calling victims to
explain that they missed court dates after being served with subpoenas,
no such subpoenas were ever served, and the victims were not named in
any court case. In this case, the scammers used a publicly available PDF
form to list a fictional court matter.
These scammers instructed the
victim to purchase pre-paid debit cards to pay the fictitious financial
penalties she faced for failing to appear for court. In many of these
calls the scammers claimed to be U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.
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. They
may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller ID as if they are
calling from the court or a government agency.
If a citizen receives a potential scam phone
call, the US Marshals are urging the public to call the clerk of the
court’s office of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the
court order. If an order does not exist, then it is likely the
individual is being scammed.
“The U.S. Marshals would never ask for a
credit/debit or gift card number, banking routing numbers, or ask for
funds to be wired for any purpose,” said US Marshal Pete Elliott. “If
the caller is urging you to provide this type of information or any
other personal or financial information, hang up and report the call to
the Marshals and the FTC. You can even report to both agencies
Things to remember:
U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit/debit
card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for
Do not divulge personal or financial
information to unknown callers.
Report scam phone calls to your local U.S.
Marshals Service office and to the FTC.
The U.S. Postal Inspectors can be reached at
(877) 876-2455, Option 4, if you feel you have been a victim of this
You can remain anonymous when you report.
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.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
First Federal Law Enforcement Agency