The U.S. Marshals Service is warning people about an increase in two nationwide phone scams.
In one, the caller demands the victim pays a fine or else face arrest for an infraction, such as failing to show up for jury duty.
In another, the caller tells the victim, they won the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, and they need to pay a fee to claim the prize, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release.
The scammers will provide badge numbers, the names of law enforcement officers and federal judges along with courthouse addresses to make themselves appear credible.
Often victims are told they can avoid arrest if they buy a prepaid debit or gift card, and read the numbers over the phone.
The Marshals Service advises people to not share personal or financial information with people they don’t know.
People can contact the U.S. District Court of Eastern Washington to confirm court orders.
If someone is a victim of a phone scam of someone representing theselves as a U.S. Marshal, they should contact the service’s local office at 509-946-9423.