The isolation we’ve used to protect seniors during the pandemic may also leave them more vulnerable to the latest round of phone scams reported in the area – where people are told that if they don’t pay a fine over the phone they will be arrested or have their Medicare or Social Security account suspended or other threat.
Detective Glenville Kedie of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department says people should not be fooled because they see a local number on their phone or get a call from someone claiming to be an officer:
“A lot of people think that if it’s a local number, it must be coming locally. What people don’t seem to realize these days is with the advent of cellphones and the advent of modern digital technology, there is something called Spoofing. Basically anyone, anywhere else in the world, using very basic software can make any number appear on your phone. Never ever call the number they give you! Lookup the number for the Sheriff’s office yourself, right there online, and simply say:
“Hey, I got a call from a detective Smith telling me that I failed to appear for jury duty and there’s a warrant for my arrest.”
If you’re calling the Sheriff’s office, they’re going to be able to tell you “We don’t have a detective Smith” and that should be your Red Flag right there.”