US Marshals warn of ongoing nationwide telephone scam

Imposter scam just one of many facing consumers

Criminals continue to work the phones in nefarious ways – this time they are claiming to be US Marshals threatening arrest and fines for failing to report for jury duty.

The US Marshals warned of the scam and said the fraudsters try to appear more credible, offering information like badge numbers and the names of actual federal judges and courthouse addresses.

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 law enforcement agency stated.

+More on Network World: IRS Scam: 5,000 victims cheated out of $26.5 million since 2013

The U.S. Marshals Service said it does not call anyone to arrange payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty or any other infraction. The Marshals Service urged the public not to divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers, even if they sound legitimate and report any calls to local law enforcement.

The US Marshal fraud is just the latest in a line of imposter scams that have plagued the country. This week the Federal Trade Commission listed imposter scams as the third highest consumer complaint of 2015.

+More on Network World: FTC: Imposter scams, identity theft, and debt collection top consumer grumbles+

The Internal Revenue Service issued a report in January that said that aggressive and threatening phone c by criminals impersonating IRS agents continues to plague taxpayers. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in January said it has received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam. The IRS also noted recently that there has been a 400% surge in phishing and malware incidents in this tax season alone.

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