Impostor scams have long been among the most lucrative for scammers.  While there are many variations of this scam, the most common variations have involved scammers calling their intended victims on the telephone posing as some governmental agency such as the IRS or the Social Security Administration.  The scammer then, under a wide variety of pretenses, demands an immediate payment by gift cards, credit card or wired funds. Being asked to pay by gift cards is a definite indication that the call is a scam since no governmental agency requests or accepts payments by gift cards.   Alternatively, the scammer demands the victim supply the phony governmental agent with personal information such as your Social Security number which will then be used for identity theft purposes.

Recently the United States Marshals Service for the Eastern District of North Carolina warned the public about a scam where people are receiving phone calls from someone posing as a Deputy U.S. Marshal in which the caller says there is a warrant for their arrest for failure to respond to a summons to appear in federal court.  The caller then tells the targeted victim that they must immediately meet the fake Deputy U.S. Marshall and pay a fine of $2,500 in cash or they will be arrested.  The phony deputy will use intimidation through the threat of an arrest, embarrassment, getting a criminal record and more to persuade the targeted victim to comply with the scammer’s demand.

TIPS

As I have often reminded you, through the simple technique of “spoofing” it is very easy for a scammer to manipulate your Caller ID to make a call coming to you appear legitimate when it is not.  Therefore you can never truly trust your Caller ID.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Even though your Caller ID may indicate that the call is coming from the Office of the U.S. Marshal, the call is coming from a scammer.  It is important to note that the U.S. Marshal’s Service never collects cash fines ordered by a court.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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