Don't fall for the latest phone scam

Matthew Lane • Oct 25, 2018 at 2:53 PM

KNOXVILLE – The U.S. Marshals Service is not calling you. Don’t believe a word the person on the phone is saying.

According to a press release from the U.S. Marshals Service, unknown people posing as marshals or other court officials are calling people all across the country, threatening imminent arrest for not appearing for jury duty.

“U.S. marshals or other federal court employees will never contact someone and demand payment or personal information by phone or email,” said U.S. Marshal David Jolley.

In the calls and emails, recipients are pressured into providing confidential information, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud. These calls and emails, which threaten you with fines and jail time if you do not comply, are fraudulent and are not connected with the U.S. courts, the release states.

“While these callers may sound legitimate, we urge people to question the validity of their claims and to never meet with them or provide financial data or information,” said Jolley.

If you believe you may be a victim of the jury duty scam, identity theft, or other scheme, you can report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) or file a complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.

“It’s a scam that happens just about every year around this time, said Deputy Marshal John Sanchez, with the U.S. Marshals Office in Knoxville.

So far this year, the Knoxville office has received a couple of dozen complaints from the East Tennessee area. Sanchez said the government does not know who is behind the scam calls and emails.

Useful Things to Remember:

• U.S. marshals will never ask for credit, debit or gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.

• Do not divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

• You can remain anonymous when you report.

• Authenticate the call by calling the agency the caller said they represented.