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US Marshals Service warns of scam another

Here’s another scam warning - the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation are alerting the public of several nationwide imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. marshals, court officers or other law enforcement officials. According to information from the U.S. Marshals Service, during these calls scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. Remember, this is a scam and courts do not work this way. The crooks are reportedly telling victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and then providing the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine. Officials say these 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 make it appear on caller ID they are calling from an actual court or a government agency. Experts say you should never give out personal and financial information to someone who contacts you. That information should only be given out to trusted organizations or businesses and only then when you contact them directly. Also, if you are contacted by someone claiming to be with a government agency or a company you do business with, hang up. Then experts say to call back using a phone number from your own records for that business or government entity. If you believe you have been a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report these calls to the local FBI officeand 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. The Houston FBI field office can be reached at 713-693-5000. The Federal Trade Commission’s website for filing complaints is ftc.gov.

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