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U.S. Marshals and FBI Warn Against Increasing Government Imposter Phone Scams

(Photo Supplied/State of Massachusetts Government)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are teaming up to alert the American public to a surge in sophisticated phone scams.

Individuals impersonating Marshals, court officials, and other law enforcement entities have been targeting residents across the country, urging victims to hand over money under false pretenses.

These scammers are not just persuasive; they arm themselves with real badge numbers, names of legitimate law enforcement officers, federal judges, and even courthouse addresses to appear credible. They manipulate caller ID systems to display government phone numbers, adding a layer of authenticity to their claims.

A pattern emerged in the Northern District of Indiana, where several individuals reported calls from someone claiming to be a U.S. Marshal. The callers deceived the victims with alarming news: their identities were stolen and their bank accounts compromised. Victims were instructed to withdraw funds before they were supposedly frozen, purchase gift cards, and provide these cards to the caller to safeguard their finances—a classic hallmark of a scam.

This fraudulent activity is not an isolated incident. Across the nation, victims have reported similar experiences, with losses mounting into the tens of thousands of dollars. The USMS fields daily inquiries from individuals duped or nearly duped by these criminal acts.

To combat these scams, authorities urge anyone contacted by someone claiming to be a U.S. Marshal, or any other law enforcement official demanding money, to immediately report the incident. Victims should contact their local FBI office and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The public is reminded never to share personal or financial information with unsolicited callers and to verify any supposed law enforcement contact through legitimate channels. For older Americans, the Department of Justice has also launched the National Elder Fraud Hotline, accessible at 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311), to assist seniors who may be particularly vulnerable to these types of financial crimes.

 

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