Missoula residents are receiving scam calls from individuals claiming to be with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office demanding money for outstanding warrants.

Public Information Officer Jeannette Smith provides these details.

“We received several calls on January 31st,” said Smith. “But this happens on a fairly frequent basis which is was sad, but we do get them. That being said, it's sad that people are taking the time to try to scam others. It's a great shout out to the folks who did call in and take the time to check to see if it was legitimate.”

Smith said the scam callers identify themselves as Sheriff’s Office personnel.

“These individuals were getting voicemails in this particular case and the caller who left the message identifies themselves as either, in this particular case, a sheriff Marcus Kelly or a sheriff Marcus Kent,” she said. “Then they asked the person they leave a message with to please call them back and they provide a phone number."

Once they connect with the victim, the demands begin.

“Once they actually connect with the individual, they are told that they have warrants and they need to pay them immediately or they're going to go to jail,” she said. “They're very, very convincing. They make them so that the message is scary and puts the person into a panic, so we wanted folks to know that was happening.”

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Smith referenced one of the MCSO Detectives who specializes in solving scam cases.

“We have a detective who works with folks on these particular cases,” she said. “But then this also allows our office to post to our Facebook page and our other social media outlets to let people know that this is going on and give them a heads up. We also always stress that the sheriff's office or any law enforcement office, any federal office, including the IRS will not call you and try to solicit money from you over the phone. So that just gives us an opportunity to educate folks and help make them aware that this is taking place.”

Victims are asked to call this number: 406-201-1848, ext. 117.

Smith said those involved in such a scam can be charged with forgery, deceptive practices and theft. Depending on the dollar amounts involved, the charges can either be misdemeanors or felonies.

Anyone who may be a victim is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 258-4810.

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