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Local U.S. Marshals Service warns of scam

The U.S. Marshals Service is warning the public of a nationwide telephone scam involving individuals claiming to be U.S. marshals, court officers or law enforcement officials seeking to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty.

The U.S. Marshals Service does not call anyone to arrange payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty or any other infraction. In order to appear more credible, the scammers may even provide information like badge numbers and the names of actual federal judges and courthouse addresses. Victims have been told they can avoid arrest by paying a fine using a reloadable credit card, and were urged to call a number and provide their own credit card number to initiate the process.

Melanie Rube, supervisory deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service in Oxford, said people have reported to her office that they have received a call from a Deputy Marshal David Perry who is threatens arrest unless payment is made.

“The U.S. Marshals Service does not call to arrange fine payments nor will we ever request Visa gift cards or Green Dot cards for any reason,” Rube said.

The scam has affected people living in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.

If anyone believes they were victim of this scam, they are encouraged to report the incident to your local law enforcement department, or local U.S. Marshals or FBI office.