FROM STAFF REPORTS
Cleveland -- The U.S. Marshals Service is warning the public of a telephone scam involving a caller contacting members of the public and alleging they have an active federal arrest or bench warrant and demanding payment of fines.
The federal agency is "investigating this matter as impersonation of a federal agent," it announced last week.
Additional information indicates the caller is calling from multiple phone numbers, including those in the 216 area code, the Marshal's Service said.
Anyone affected by the scam is encouraged to call 866-4-WANTED or 216-522-2150.
The U.S. Marshals Service received information from several area residents who were contacted from phone number 937-964-2422. In several instances, the caller identified himself as "Deputy Marshal Pete Elliott," while in others he identified himself as "Kevin Sizemore."
The fraud attempt is concerning because the caller is using the name of U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio Peter Elliott. This could cause residents to believe the caller.
The U.S. Marshals Service wants the public to know this is a scam. Anyone who receives phone calls of this nature should immediately contact local authorities or search a telephone directory's government pages to obtain a legitimate number for the nearest U.S. Marshals Service to verify the call.
Additionally, the U.S. Marshals Service is a federal law enforcement agency and does not seek payment of fines or fees via phone and will never ask someone to go to a local store to get a prepaid credit card.
The U.S. Marshals Service urges individuals not to divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers and recommends the public report similar crimes to the FBI or their local police or sheriff's office if they are the victims of fraud.
For internet-related fraud, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center can be contacted at www.ic3.gov.