U.S. officials are warning residents around the country of a new scam involving fake arrest warrants.
Federal District Courts around the country are reporting incidents of scam phone calls, emails and faxes indicating fake arrest warrants have been issued, according to a release from the Northern District of Illinois.
“There have been reports that the offenders may ask for personal identifying information, money, money orders or prepaid cards to cancel or void the bench warrant,” the release read. “The non-official warrants may display a logo of an unspecified ‘United States District Court,’ a case number and various charges.”
Officials said recipients are often instructed to call a number to get a “settlement,” or are asked to wire money or provide a prepaid card to avoid arrest.
The fake warrants are for offenses like missed jury duty, money laundering or bank fraud, according to authorities.
Officials are reminding residents that a valid arrest warrant is served in person by a U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement officer. The penalties for demanding or obtaining money or anything of value while impersonating an officer or employee of the U.S. may be fined and could face up to three years in prison.
Anyone who believes they may have been contacted by these scammers is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312)353-2284.