U.S. Marshals Service: Con artists spoofing district office’s phone number to trick people into sending money

SCRANTON –The U.S. Marshals in the Middle District of Pennsylvania are alerting the public of an imposter phone scam where con artists are spoofing the district office’s real number 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” said U.S. Marshal Martin Pane, of the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Marshals are urging people to report the calls to their local FBI office, 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 attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. They then tell victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and read the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine.

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.

If you believe you were a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to your local FBI office and to the FTC.

Source: U.S. Marshals Service

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