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Mar 11, 2014 7:22 PM by Chet Layman - KBZK News

Local man thwarts scam involving jury duty

A phone call saying you're facing a fine and maybe jail time for missing jury duty. The person sounds official, and knows something about the local justice system.

This happened to one local man - and it is a scam.

Dr. Don Collins is a retired MSU professor. He's also been contacted by phone scammers before. Last night the most recent. He says the caller told him he'd missed jury duty, was in contempt of court, and there was a warrant for his arrest.

Collins said "there's already been a bench warrant issued for your arrest, and before we come out to get you we're going to give you one more chance."

His second chance was financial. Go to Walmart or Kmart buy a Green Dot prepaid credit card and put $440 on it. Collins was then to contact the caller to arrange the payment.

Lt. Arlyn Graydanus of the Gallatin County Sheriff's office says that's where the scam comes in.

"No personal information, no banking information because you will be victimized more so than we can a lot of times even recover," said Graydanus.

If for some reason you are found in contempt of court for not appearing for jury duty, you won't be contacted with a phone call from the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office. A deputy is going to come right to your house.

Dr. Collins found his own way to end the call. He told the caller, "Why don't you come out here because I haven't shot anybody since I was in the combat engineers in the Korean War and I love for you to come out here so I could put a few chunks of lead in your skinny butt so you won't try this scam on somebody again.' He hung up the phone."

Lt. Graydanus suggests contacting law enforcement so they have a record of the scam to help others. Dr. Collins suggests just being prepared. "This one is really well done, the best I've ever heard," he said. "I just advise anyone out there if you get something like this just hang up - they'll come get you if they really need you."

Montana Department of Justice has established a protocol where you can report phone scams, or other frauds. You can call them at (800) 481-6896 or email the Office of Consumer Protection at contactocp@mt.gov.

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