Telephone Scammers Continue to Target Idaho Residents
Callers Claiming to be a Deputy U.S. Marshal Threaten with Federal Arrest Warrant
BOISE – The United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals Service are advising Idaho residents to be aware of telephone calls threatening individuals of a pending arrest warrant. Calls have been reported in the Boise, Pocatello and Twin Falls area.
It was recently reported that Idaho residents have received a phone call from a person claiming to be a Deputy U.S. Marshal. When unsuspecting citizens return the call an automated message says:
You have reached the U.S. Marshals Service serving the Northern District of Idaho. If this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911. If you have information regarding the whereabouts of an absconded fugitive please remain on the line for the next available deputy. For all other inquiries please listen closely because our menu options have recently changed. For warrants division, press 1; for civil processing division, press 2; for gang enforcement, press 3; for the officer in charge, press 4; for clerk of courts, press 5.
Once connected to a person, individuals are given the choice to avoid a federal arrest warrant by paying a fine to settle out of court. The individual may be instructed to purchase a prepaid Visa or MasterCard, and to provide the number on the back of the card to the caller.
Because the telephone calls are continuing to occur, the United States Attorney wants the public to be aware of these scam calls. Officers do not notify people of arrest warrants by phone. A valid arrest warrant would be served in person by a Deputy U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement officer. Persons receiving such a telephone call are cautioned not to provide any information and to notify the U.S. Marshals Service immediately.
“I urge everyone who receives this type of phone call to be very skeptical, or better yet, simply hang up the phone,” said Brian T. Underwood, United States Marshal for the District of Idaho. “This is not a typical way that the U.S. Marshals resolve warrant related matters.”
It is a crime for an individual to falsely represent himself or herself as a federal official or Deputy United States Marshal. Accordingly, this scam and any similar fraudulent conduct will be investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, in partnership with the FBI.