The U.S. Marshals are alerting the public of several imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. Marshals. In the past few weeks, there have been several reported scam calls to Rochester-area citizens. Law Enforcement is urging people to report the calls the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and 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.
During these calls, scammers have attempted to gain banking information and credit card numbers. Telling the victims that their Social Security number has been used in a criminal act and this information is needed within an hour or they will be arrested.
On Wednesday, Oct. 14, a report was made to the U.S. Marshals office in Rochester. The victim reported that a caller told him there was a warrant for his arrest. The victim was told to transfer funds and if he did not comply, he was threatened with arrest and seizing of his property.
Additional incidents reported this month to Law Enforcement where Scam Calls attempted to collect a fine in lieu of arrest due to a claim of identity theft, failing to report for jury duty or other offenses, or even threating to seize property. Imposters tell victims they can avoid arrest by withdrawing cash and transferring it, purchasing a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and reading the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine, or by depositing cash into bitcoin ATMs.
Scammers use many tactics to sound and appear 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 IDs as if they are calling from a government agency or the court.
In March 2020, The Department of Justice launched the National Elder Fraud Hotline, which provides services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud. Case managers assist callers with reporting the suspected fraud to relevant agencies and by providing resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed.
The hotline’s toll free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).
If you believe you were a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 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, or to make bitcoin deposits for any purpose.
NEVER divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
Report scam phone calls to your local FBI office and to the FTC.
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.
-- Related article on SSN scams can be found at Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Impersonation Schemes or www.ssa.gov/scam
-- More information on the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center can be found at www.ic3.gov
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov