In a new twist on an old trick, an aggressive grand jury arrest warrant scam has taken local citizens for thousands of dollars in fake bond postings.
Posing as United States Marshals or federal court officials, scammers are contacting citizens throughout Western Washington, threatening them with immediate arrest by federal law enforcement if they do not post bond for failing to appear for grand jury duty and being in contempt of court.
These scammers have gained thousands of dollars from more than a dozen citizens through the use of legitimate court information, aggressive techniques, and payment “safeguards” to reassure wary citizens that this is not a scam.
According to one recent victim, the caller convinced him that he faced imminent arrest by using real court official names, a case number, referencing a hearing date, and instructing him to mail prepaid debit cards to the actual court address.
The United States Marshals Service is working with the United States District Court, United States Attorney’s Office, and local law enforcement to alert the public and stop this scam. To report a call or get more information on this scam please call our dedicated number: 206-370-8685. Law enforcement has opened an active criminal investigation and is currently following up on more than a dozen leads thanks to calls from the public.
Remember, neither the U.S. Marshals Services nor U.S. District Court will ever call to ask for payment over the phone for failure to report for jury or grand jury duty. For more information, please visit the court’s website.