DOJ’s OCP warns of jury duty scam

DOJ’s OCP warns of jury duty scam

HELENA – The Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is receiving reports of fraudsters, posing as law enforcement, attempting to scam unsuspecting Montanans out of thousands of dollars by calling individuals claiming there is a warrant for their arrest because they missed jury duty.

The scammers are directing individuals to go the bank, withdraw cash, and then deposit the funds into bitcoin machines or ATMs, such as Coinstar kiosks, and not to tell anyone what they are doing. The scammers also have personal information, such as name and address, on the individuals they are targeting.

Currently, all reports have come from Lewis and Clark County. OCP investigators were able to stop two people from falling victim to the scam over the phone and interdicted another instance Thursday at a bitcoin machine in Helena.

OCP encourages Montanans who are targeted by these scammers to hang up the phone and report it to investigators using the online reporting form here or by calling (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500. To avoid falling victim to the scam, look out for the following red flags:

  • 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.
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