U.S. Marshals Warn of Court-Related Phone Scams

Chapin police are warning of scammers posing as court officials.

CHARLESTON, SC (WLTX) - U.S. Marshals are warning the public of ongoing jury duty telephone scams, in which the scammer poses as a U.S. Marshal or other official calling about missed jury duty or criminal court hearings.

It begins when the scammer, posing as a U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement officer, calls a victim to advise that he or she has missed federal jury duty but can avoid arrest by paying a fine immediately. Other versions of this scam claim the victim has failed to appear for a criminal court hearing or an “ongoing civil matter” and must pay fines to avoid arrest.

The scammer provides information like titles and badge numbers of legitimate law enforcement officers or court officials, names of federal judges and courtroom addresses in an attempt to make the scam credible. Scammers can even spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller ID as if they are from the court or a government agency. In some instances the scammers have even told their potential victims to meet them at the federal courthouse and intercept them before they enter the building.

Marshals say this is a nationwide scam, and the public should not provide any personal identification information or money to the caller. Federal courts do not call prospective jurors and ask for money or personal identifying information over the telephone.

If you receive one of these scam calls, you should report it, with any available caller ID information, to your local FBI or United States Marshals Service Office.

If you believe you may be a victim of the jury duty scam, identity theft, or other scheme, you can also file a complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.

© 2018 WLTX-TV


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