Scammers using local Judge’s name to trick victims

By: 
DEB HILL
Managing Editor

Justice of the Peace Kelly Mantooth

 

Justice of the Peace Kelly Mantooth is warning Central Montanans not to fall for a telephone scam in which callers attempt to get money from people by suggesting the local court is involved.

According to Mantooth, people who receive these calls are told they owe money from a past unpaid bill. The callers say papers have been drawn up by Mantooth’s office and will be served if the potential victim doesn’t pay a portion of what is owed immediately.

“In the case that was reported to me, the scammer knew a lot about the person, including the last four digits of their social security number and where some of their relatives lived or worked,” Mantooth told the News-Argus.

“She was told she owed money from a Payday loan from some years ago,” Mantooth explained. “The caller said my office would serve papers on her unless she paid $700 by the end of the phone call. The scammer used my name to make it sound legitimate.”

Mantooth said his office does not call people for payments.

“If you have any questions, call the court,” Mantooth said, adding that fines assessed through court cases are paid for through the court’s own system.

“Don’t ever pay money to anyone you don’t know over the phone,” he warned.

The court’s phone number is 535-5418.

 

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