You’re under arrest! (Not with this scam you’re not)

US Federal Courts warn of arrest scam

jail
Credit: Shutterstock

It seems likely most people would know if they had done something that would warrant their arrest but that apparently isn't stopping scammers from trying.

The US Federal Court System today issued a warning about scammers using the threat of arrest unless of course you pay them off.

The fake arrest warrants have been reported across the country, including in the District Courts for the Southern District of Ohio, Southern District of Illinois, New Mexico, Western District of Kentucky, Utah, the District of Columbia, and throughout Florida. 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.

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Specifically the US Court statement said:  "You've received a warrant by fax or email saying a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government wants to arrest you. Charges may be for money laundering or bank fraud, or missed jury duty. To avoid arrest, the warrant says, send money. 

"It's a scam.

The warrants may display a bogus logo of an unspecified "United States District Court," a case number, and various charges. Typically, recipients are instructed to call a number to get a "settlement" or to wire money to avoid arrest.

"The warrant is phony. A valid warrant would not be served by fax or e-mail. It would be served in person by a U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement officer.  Law enforcement doesn't make phone calls either - another popular scam these days."

The Prescott, Arizona media recently detailed one such incident of the arrest warrant scam saying the caller told a woman she was going to be arrested and jailed on a warrant for failure to appear for jury duty unless she paid about $700 in fines, she was baffled and upset.

Another example of the scam in Utah can be found here.

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