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Senator Collins Warns Against New Phone Scam

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins is warning the public to be on alert about a new phone scam targeting Mainers. 

This new scam involves fraudsters pretending to be U.S. Marshals or other federal government officials by “spoofing” actual U.S. Marshal’s phone numbers to show up on caller IDs. 

During some of these calls, the fraudsters claim that the potential victim needs to immediately pay a fine or face being arrested, losing their property, bank accounts, or other consequences.

In others, the fraudster will promise to send the victim money if they pay a fee.  Once the fee is collected, they will claim the IRS has stopped the payment from reaching the victim. 

The U.S. Marshals Office says these scammers use many convincing tactics including citing publicly available information of the potential victims, like former address and phone numbers, in order to sound credible. They may also provide fake law enforcement badges or case numbers.

“It is outrageous that these criminals are exploiting Mainers to rob them of their hard earned savings and personal information,” said Senator Collins.  “It is important that we all take steps to protect ourselves from these scams and other forms of financial exploitation. All Mainers should be wary of phone calls, texts, or emails from unknown sources that demand you to take immediate action or provide personal information.”

If you believe you have been a victim to such a scam, Senator Collins encourages you to report this incident to your local FBI office and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Tips to remember:

  • Federal officials will never ask for your credit or debit card numbers, wire transfers, or bank account numbers.
  • Never divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
  • If you think you are being scammed, call your local FBI office and the FTC.
  • You can remain anonymous when reporting a scam.

While Senator Collins served as the Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, there were 25 hearings held in seven years to examine scams affecting older Americans. The committee continues to release an annual Fraud Book outlining the top 10 scams reported to the Committees Fraud Hotline. You can also call the Senate Aging Committee Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.