ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The U.S. Marshals Service is warning Abilene residents of law enforcement imposters pretending to collect fraudulent fines for various court proceedings.
These scammers have been calling residents not only in Abilene and the rest of the Big Country, but nation-wide, claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers, or other law enforcement officials.
A press release states the scammers tell their victims they must pay fines in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. The victims are asked to use a pre-paid debit card to make the transactions over the phone.
The following statement from the U.S. Marshals Service describes the in-depth techniques used by these scammers:
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.
“The U.S. Marshals would never ask for a credit/debit or gift card number or banking routing numbers or ask for funds to be wired for any purpose,” said Chance Ferguson, Acting Supervisory Deputy of Abilene U.S. Marshal’s Service.
Ferguson says victims of these calls are urged to report the fraudulent activity to their local U.S. Marshals office or the Federal Trade Commission. Both agencies are accepting anonymous tips.
Here is information the U.S. Marshals Service says to remember in light of this scam:
- U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
- 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.
- 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.