US marshal warns of proliferation of phone scams

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The U.S. Marshals Service is warning of scams involving people claiming to be marshals, court officers or other law enforcement officials.

U.S. Marshal Noel March says the scammers claim to be collecting a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report to jury duty or other offenses. The victims are told they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card.

He says the scammers may sound credible but that law enforcement officials never ask for bank routing numbers or numbers of credit, debit or gift cards.

March says people who receive such a call should hang up and call the marshals or the Federal Trade Commission. He says it’s easy to call a court clerk to verify whether there’s a court order and whether a fine is overdue.

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