U.S. Marshals warn about 'spoofing' scheme

The U.S. Marshals Service says thieves have been impersonating them and other federal authorities over the phone.

"It doesn't make me feel good knowing the agency I work for and have pride for is being impersonated, and someone is out there taking advantage of people."

As a deputy U.S. Marshal, Jesse Bravo protects people. 

Now, he's warning others about impostors pretending to be from the United States Marshals Service, even spoofing the agency's phone number.

"The phone call may actually read, for example, the United States Marshals Service, so they'll pick it up because they think it's a legitimate phone call. That's how they're able to get these people to pick up the phone." 

And once the victim answers, "They're actually able to get names of law enforcement officials, and using names that appear to be legitimate, and they're even throwing badge numbers out there to make it seem even more legit of a phone call on their end." 

And that's when they threaten victims with an arrest if they don't pay up.

"They're asking people for bank account information, routing numbers, debit card numbers, credit card numbers... and this is all in lieu for an arrest for not appearing at jury duty, or some other false offense."

Bravo says it's happening locally and nationwide, so it's important to know.

"The United States Marshals Service would never ask anyone for any form or method of payment by phone."

If this happens to you, call your local FBI office or the Federal Trade Commission.