East Lyme Police Warn About Phone Scam With Scammer Posing As U.S. Marshal

East Lyme Police are warning the community to be careful about who they give out information to.

Stephen Thomas, of Niantic, called police Saturday after he said he got a call from a man claiming to be U.S. Marshal Josh Turner. He threatened to arrest Thomas for missing jury duty or told him that they could "handle it a different way." Thomas understood that to mean he wanted money.

"It just made me nervous and suspicious," Thomas said, describing the caller as "aggressive."

Thomas said he called his neighbor over to listen in on the call. When he asked to speak to someone else, a man who identified himself as Capt. Tim Slader came on the line and made the same threats.

But there was a hole in the story.

"(They) said I've been sent out two forms and then they had sent out a subpoena," Thomas said, who added he hadn't missed jury duty and was never sent any forms.

The men would not give Thomas a number to call them back.

"When I started asking questions, that's when I started getting really confusing answers," he said. And he hung up.

East Lyme Police are urging people in a similar situation to do the same.

"Do not give any personal bank account information (or) debit card information," said Sgt. Michael Macek of the East Lyme Police Department.

If a person does not know whether a call is legitimate, call police and an officer will help, Macek said. Especially during tax season there are a lot of scams that occur, he added.

Thomas was able to give police a phone number off his caller ID. It was a Connecticut area code, which Sgt. Macek said isn't common.

Police called that number and got a voicemail with a real voice saying, "U.S. Marshals Service Civil Section."

East Lyme Police did call the U.S. Marshals Service who told officers that this is a nationwide scam, sometimes scammers use a 1-800 number, and that they reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to Macek.

Thomas said he wants his story to be a warning for everyone.

"If they can't give you a number that you can call back at, there's obviously something wrong with the situation."

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