Press release from The United States Marshals Service
The United States Marshals Service (USMS) needs your help to stop several phone scams targeting residents in Western North Carolina. United States Marshal Chris Edge reports scammers are impersonating law enforcement officers and threatening to arrest members of the public for failing to appear in federal court. In lieu of arrest, the fraudsters then offer to collect a fictitious fine through payment by gift card and other remote means.
Unfortunately, the scheme has proven highly successful at both the local and national level. According to Marshal Edge, fraudsters often establish credibility with callers by providing information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials or federal judges, and by referencing real courthouse addresses. The scammers have targeted people who have a landline phone number, and/or cell phone. These conmen even spoofed phone numbers to appear legitimate on caller ID and set up a voicemail to make it seem as though you’ve reached the desk phone of a Deputy U.S. Marshal.
Marshal Edge definitively states the USMS and the federal court will never ask for card numbers, wire transfers or routing numbers over the telephone. Any suspicious phone calls should be authenticated by hanging up and calling the federal court or the USMS offices in Asheville or Charlotte directly. Marshal Edge emphasizes, “The best defense to these scams is public awareness. Sharing this information with your friends and family members may prevent them from becoming the next victim.”
If you have been targeted in a phone scam, please report the information to the USMS office in Asheville by calling (828)771-7400.