BOZEMAN — Have you gotten a suspicious phone call about jury duty recently? If so, you should hang up that phone—it might just save you from a scam caller.
“I received a phone call from a No Caller ID. The phone call stated that it was a sheriff's department telling me I was supposed to be in court at 9 a.m. Thursday morning,” says Stephanie Wright, who received the suspicious phone call last Thursday.
The caller identified themselves as the Sheriff's Office and notified her she missed jury duty. The caller proceeded to inform Wright that Judge Brown had filed citations against her.
“For not appearing in court I would need to go in front of Judge Brown, and if I didn't, there would be a bench warrant against me and I would be charged 2,900 and something dollars,” she said.
Wright says that’s knew something was off.
“I asked him at that point what his name and badge number was,” she said.
The scammer replied Officer Jenkins, a real officer with the Bozeman Police Department.
“They've actually used many of my deputies' names, many of my captains' names, my own name, actually, and so people will see this come up on caller ID and think it's coming from this office,” says Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer.
Springer explains how these scam calls are extremely elaborate and researched. Scammers get an individual's personal information, such as their full name and street address, then use this information to seem legitimate. Springer says these types of calls are not uncommon.
“We get a number of scam phone calls,” he says.
Springer stated these calls can be hard to identify, and if people are not sure whether a call is real or not, they should follow this advice:
“If you don't show up for jury duty or if you haven't returned your documents, we will make a phone call. But we will not ask for money, and there's no warrants going out for your arrest”.
And Wright is glad she caught onto this during her phone call.
“He had all the right words. What they were saying was very believable,” she says.
Wright says people need to be aware of these scammers and how realistic they can sound. Her advice?
“If you feel like it's not something believable, hang up and call them yourself."