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Knudsen warns of jury duty scam

The Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) at the Montana Department of Justice has received reports of fraudulent activities where scammers impersonate law enforcement officers. These scammers contact unsuspecting Montanans, claiming there is an arrest warrant due to missed jury duty, and then coerce victims into transferring thousands of dollars.

The scammers instruct individuals to visit a bank, withdraw cash, and deposit the funds into bitcoin machines or ATMs like Coinstar kiosks. They emphasize secrecy, warning victims not to disclose their actions to anyone. Additionally, the scammers possess personal details such as names and addresses of their targets.

All reported incidents have originated from Lewis and Clark County. OCP investigators successfully prevented two individuals from falling prey to the scam through phone interventions, and intercepted another attempt at a bitcoin machine in Helena last Thursday.

OCP advises Montanans who receive such calls to immediately hang up and report the incident. Reports can be filed using the online reporting form on their website or by contacting (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500. To avoid becoming a victim, it’s crucial to be vigilant for the following warning signs:

  • Law enforcement doesn’t call you if there is a warrant for your arrest;
  • Law enforcement/courts don’t take payment in the form of bitcoin;
  • The immediate threat of incarceration;
  • Directions not to speak to anyone or tell anyone

By: Big Sky Headlines staff

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