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US Marshals warn of “arrest warrant phone scam”

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 The U.S. Marshals Service has received several phone calls from residents who have received phone calls from a person stating they are a U.S. Marshal and threating arrest if a “fine” is not paid.

If you have received a phone call from a person saying they are a federal law enforcement officer, sheriff or an attorney for the government and they have an arrest warrant for you if a fine is not paid. It’s a scam.

The bogus charges and arrest warrant may be for missed jury duty, civil suit or failure to respond to a summons.  The caller states “to avoid arrest, send money”.  In the most recent cases the caller is requesting a $1,000 dollar fine. 

The charges and arrest warrant are phony.  A valid arrest warrant would not be served by phone call to pay a fine. It would be served in person by a U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement officer.

The U.S. Marshals Service advises to look for these signs when they receive a call from someone stating they are a law enforcement officer with an arrest warrant.

• the caller claims that there is a warrant for your arrest.  Law enforcement does not call first.  They will knock on your door or you will receive a certified piece of mail informing you of any legal action that's being taken against you

• is seeking payment for a fine or debt for a loan you do not recognize

• refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number

• asks you for personal financial or sensitive information

• exerts high pressure to try to scare you into paying, such as threatening to have you arrested

What to do:

If you are contacted by someone who is claims there is a warrant for your arrest and asking you to pay a fine or is claiming to collect a debt that you do not owe, you should:

  • Ask the caller for his name, agency or company, street address, and telephone number
  • Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any fine or debt until you get a written "validation notice”
  • If a caller refuses to give you all of this information, do not pay and stop speaking with the caller
  • If you did receive a bogus call and gave out information about your bank accounts or credit cards, contact your bank(s) and credit card companies

 

What not to do:

  • do not give the caller personal, financial or other sensitive information like your:  name, date of birth, bank account, credit card, or Social Security number

 

Anyone demanding or obtaining money or anything of value while impersonating an officer or employee of the United States may be fined and/or imprisoned up to three years.

Anyone receiving a call from someone claiming they are with the U.S. Marshals Service or other law enforcement agency requesting money for an arrest warrant, should contact the U.S. Marshals Office (502) 588-8000.