U.S. Marshals warn Utahns of impostor phone scam

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 2, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The office of the U.S. Marshals in the District of Utah is alerting the public of an impostor phone scam where con artists are spoofing the district office’s real number to trick people into sending money.

“This tactic is known as neighbor spoofing, where scammers using technology to modify what number appears on your caller ID to impersonate phone numbers from friends, local businesses, and in our case, law enforcement, to appear legit,” said United States Marshal Matthew D. Harris, District of Utah, in a prepared statement.

“Nationwide we are receiving hundreds of calls from people asking us why the
Marshals are seeking money from them,” Harris added. “We want people to know these calls are scams.”

The U.S. Marshals are urging people to report the calls to their local FBI office here, and file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which has the ability to detect patterns of fraud from the information collected and share that data with law enforcement.

During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses, the news release said. They then tell victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and read the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine.

“Scammers use many tactics to sound credible,” the news release said. “They sometimes provide information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges, and courthouse addresses.”

If you believe you were a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to your local FBI office and to the FTC.

Things to remember:

  • U.S. Marshals will never ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
  • Don’t divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
  • Report scam phone calls to your local FBI office and to the FTC.
  • You can remain anonymous when you report.
  • If scammer provides a court order, authenticate the call by calling the clerk of the court’s office of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the court order given by the caller.


  1. I hope no one will fall victim to these kind of scams now. They have been around for years. The first time I heard about these fake law enforcement scams was maybe more than 5 years ago. I Googled about this scam and easily find some reports filed at https://www.whycall.me/910-787-1519.html since last year! We need to be very familiar with how these scammers work by now and keep informing and protecting our family from being the victims.


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