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U.S. Marshals warn of scammers spoofing their phone number

Posted at 9:05 PM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 21:05:16-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Here is another reminder to always be careful if someone you don't know calls asking for money.

The U.S. Marshals in the Southern District of Indiana are warning the public that someone is spoofing their district office's phone number and attempting to trick people into sending money.

“This tactic is known as neighbor spoofing, where scammers using technology to modify what number appears on your caller ID to impersonate phone numbers from friends, local businesses, and in our case, law enforcement, to appear legit,” Marshal Dan McClain of the Southern District of Indiana said in a release.

“Our office is receiving hundreds of calls from people nationwide asking us why the Marshals are seeking money from them,” McClain said. “We want people to know these calls are scams.”

The U.S. Marshals said people should report the calls to their local FBI office and file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC can detect patterns of fraud from the information you sent to them and share that data with law enforcement.

The Marshals said the scammers tell callers they can avoid arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses by paying a fine. People have reported being told to purchase a prepaid debit card and to read the card number over the phone. It's important to keep in mind that the U.S. Marshals do not ask for credit, debit or gift card numbers, wire transfers or bank routing numbers.

The scammers will use tactics to sound credible, such as by providing a badge number, names of law enforcement officials and federal judges and courthouse addresses.

If someone calls and provides a court order, the U.S. Marshals said you should contact the clerk of the court's office of U.S. District Court of your area and verify the order.