COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The United States Marshals Service is asking for the public’s help in stopping phone scammers targeting Georgians. According to officials with the USMS, scammers are pretending to be law enforcement officers and threatening to arrest potential victims if they don’t pay a fine for missing a federal court appearance.

Potential victims are being asked to pay the fine remotely, using a pre-paid gift card.

Officials said the scammers, unfortunately, have been very successful at both local and national levels with stealing money from their victims.

The scammers are using several methods to entrap victims, including employing a threatening tone, providing information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials or federal judges, and by referencing real courthouse addresses, according to officials. They have even spoofed phone numbers to appear legitimate on caller ID.

Officials said the federal court system will never, under any circumstances, ask for card numbers, wire transfers, or routing numbers over the telephone.

If you have been targeted in a phone scam or other fraudulent activity, please report the information to the FBI through its Internet Crime Complaint Center and to the Federal Trade Commission .

Additional information about court scams can be found on the websites for the United States Courts and the United States Marshals Service.

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