INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The U.S. Marshals in the Southern District of Indiana are issuing a warning to the public regarding a phone scam in which impostors appear to be calling from the district office’s actual phone number in an effort to trick people into sending them 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 Marshal Dan McClain of the Southern District of Indiana.
McClain said his office has received hundreds of calls nationwide regarding the scam.
U.S. Marshals say during these scam calls, crooks try to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. The scammers then tell victims they can pay the fine by purchasing a prepaid debit card or gift card and read the card number over the phone.
If you receive a call like this, please report it to your local FBI office and file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which can detect fraud patterns from the information gathered and share that data with law enforcement.
U.S. Marshals offer the following tips if you encounter this scam or one like it:
- U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
- Don’t divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
- Report scam phone calls to your local FBI office and to the FTC.
- You can remain anonymous when you report.
- If scammer provides a court order, authenticate the call by calling the clerk of the court’s office of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the court order given by the caller.