DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The U.S. Marshals Service is warning the public of a nationwide telephone scam.
It involves people claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers or law enforcement officials seeking to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report to jury duty.
The U.S. Marshals Service sent out a news release Friday to get the word out, the agency does not call anyone to arrange payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty or any other infraction.
Since then, the agency reports approximately 15 to 20 potential victims are calling per day to say they have been solicited in connection with this scam.
In order to appear more credible, the scammers may even provide information like badge numbers and the names of actual federal judges and courthouse addresses, according to the news release.
Victims have been told they can avoid arrest by paying a fine using a reloadable credit card and were urged to call a number and provide their own credit card number to initiate the process.
The Marshals Service urges the public not to divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers, even if they sound legitimate.
Actual court orders can be verified through the U.S. Clerks Office.
If you believe you are a victim of the jury duty scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to your local law enforcement department, or to local U.S. Marshals or FBI office.
For internet related fraud, contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.