The U.S. Marshals Service in Maine is alerting the public to a phone scam by people posing as federal law enforcement and other officials.

Scammers are “spoofing” or appearing to call from actual U.S. Marshals office phone numbers in an effort to fraudulently collect money or threaten legal consequences, according to a press statement issued Friday by the U.S. Marshals Service in Maine.

According to the statement, these scammers claim their prospective victims need to “pay a fine or post bond” or otherwise face arrest, loss of property, banking accounts or other consequences.

They will use many convincing tactics in order to appear credible, including citing publicly available information of targeted people, which may include old residential addresses and phone numbers, according to the statement.

Scammers also may provide fictitious information, such as law enforcement badge and case numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials in an effort to further appear legitimate, according to the media advisory.

The U.S. Marshals Service urges anyone who receives calls of this nature to be vigilant and contact the federal agency in question by calling them directly from verified official websites to authenticate the information.

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Anyone who believes they might have been a victim of such a scam is encouraged to report the incident to their local FBI office, the Federal Trade Commission and local law enforcement.

The advisory cautions against giving out personal or financial information to an unknown caller.

Reports of suspected scams to federal agencies may be made anonymously.

Those who believe they are victims of fraud are urged to report any incidents through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. Any online business or phone scams should also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) immediately at www.reportfraud.ftc.gov.


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