Phone scams: Spring roundup

By: 
JENNY GESSAMAN
Reporter

Central Montana, including the Lewistown area, is no stranger to phone scams and telemarketers, although the perpetrators constantly switch up their pitches to keep victims confused.

Here’s the most recent round of scams pulled from the Lewistown Police Department’s log, courtesy of Assistant Chief of Police Ryan Berry, and from the Fergus County Sheriff’s Blotter, courtesy of Sheriff Troy Eades.

 

• A caller identifying himself as Sheriff Troy Eades has been targeting Lewistown residents. He claimed to have a warrant for people’s arrest, which could be taken care of only by paying a fine.

• Several scammers have started leaving voice messages on answering machines, threatening residents with arrest if they do not call a given number back.

• One pitch claims people have missed their court appearance and now have a warrants out for their arrest. The person can take care of the warrant by paying a fee.

• Another scheme tells people they have to pay a large fine for missing jury duty.

• Callers claiming to be from the IRS threaten to put people in jail if they do not pay a fine.

• One scammer informs residents they have won a cash prize, but that they need to send money to receive all of their winnings. In at least once instance, the scammer threatened to burn down the house and take the life of a person who did not comply.

• Callers identifying themselves as NorthWestern Energy employees are threatening to turn off residents’ power unless they are given an immediate payment.

 

Local law enforcement would like to remind residents to never give out personal information over the phone. If you have received a scam telephone call, make a report with the Federal Communications Commission by calling 1-888-225-5322.

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