Fake Law Enforcement Scam Calls Affecting Montana During Holidays
Last week, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen sent out a report about an uptick in scam calls in the state. This time, the scammers are posing as law enforcement, in order to scare you into paying money.
The fraudsters are disguising their phone number, so on caller ID it appears the number is coming from a legitimate law enforcement office, which is also referred to as “spoofing.”
Once on the phone with an individual, the scammer will threaten the victim with outstanding warrants or investigations to try to obtain personal information, like bank account numbers.
Other times, to supposedly clear the charges against them, the victim is ordered to obtain reloadable debit cards or other forms of payment, then provide the card numbers to the scammer. Such as iTunes Gift Cards.
According to the AG's office, a woman from Anaconda lost her life savings to a scammer claiming to be law enforcement.
AG Knudsen shared this about scammers:
Always be on high alert for scammers looking to take advantage of you. Especially during the holidays, more criminals seem to be looking to make a quick buck. If anyone asks you for personal information over the phone do not provide it unless you can verify who you are speaking to and always trust your gut.
Montana's DOJ Office of Consumer Protection reminds Montanans to simply hang up the phone if a scammer contacts you. If they claim to be law enforcement, and you are unsure if they are real, the DOJ OCP offers these preventative steps you can take:
- Ask the caller for their name and immediate supervisor;
- Ask under what authority this call is being made;
- Ask the court of jurisdiction;
- Hang up, find the law enforcement agency’s phone number from their official website (such as the city or county website) or in the phone book, and call the agency at that number to verify the information provided; and
- NEVER provide personal information over the phone to someone unless you initiated the contact (you called them) and you are certain you know who you are speaking to.
If you have been contacted by a scammer, you can report them via the DOJ OCP's online submission form using the button below.
Or, you can call and speak to an investigator directly: (Click to Call)
According to the Office of Consumer Protection, they handled 945 scam complaints last year alone and saved Montanans from losing more than $1.3 Million.
Complete Release: AG Knudsen Warns of Scam Callers Posing As Law Enforcement