Crime Watch 8

US Marshals: Cons spoof local phone numbers to trick people into sending money

(WISH Photo, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Con artists are spoofing local phone numbers to trick people into sending money, the U.S. Marshals Office warned Wednesday.

The scams involve trying to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to go to jury duty, to pay taxes, or to address other potential offenses. People called in the scam are told to buy prepaid debit or gift cards, then read the card numbers over the phone to pay the fines.

Victims of the scam should call their local FBI offices. The Indianapolis FBI office is at 317-595-4000.

Victims also were asked to file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov. The FTC collects fraud patterns and shares that data with law enforcement.

“Scammers use many tactics to sound credible. They sometimes provide information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges, as well as courthouse addresses. The U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit or debit card numbers, wire transfers or banking information.”

Dan McClain, U.S. marshal for Southern District of Indiana

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Elder Fraud Hotline provides resources and referrals to older Americans who may be financial fraud victims. The free hotline is at 833-372-8311.

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