The U.S. Marshals Service along with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department are alerting the public of several nationwide imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service Office, court officers, or other law enforcement officials. They are urging people to report the calls not only to their local Police Department, Sheriff’s Office or U.S. Marshals Service office, but also to the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC 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. The callers 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.
“Legitimate court employees and other law enforcement officials will never call to solicit this type of personal or financial information from you. The Sheriff’s Office won’t ask for a credit/debit or gift card number or bank routing numbers or ask for funds to be wired for any purpose,” said Marian Brown, Dallas County Sheriff “If the caller is urging you to provide this type of information or any other personal or financial information, hang up and report the call to the your local police authorities and the FTC. You can even report to both agencies anonymously.”
Scammers use many tactics to sound credible. The scammers sometimes provide information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and state and federal judges, and courthouse addresses. They may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller ID as if they are calling from the court or a government agency.
If you believe you were a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to your local police authority, Sheriff’s Office or local U.S. Marshal’s Service office and to the FTC.
Things to remember:
• Law Enforcement will never ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
• Do not divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
• Report scam phone calls to your local police authority, Sheriff’s Office or local U.S. Marshals Service Office and to the FTC.
• Authenticate the call by calling the Dallas County Jury Services Office or the clerk of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the court order given by the caller.