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Helena Police warn of "spoofing" scam

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Posted at 4:23 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 10:55:11-04

HELENA — Authorities say the Helena area has seen an uptick in scam scheme known as spoofing. And the Helena Police Department wants you to know what to look for, so you don’t get scammed.

Spoofing is when a scammer will falsify caller ID in order to pretend to be someone they’re not. They can do this by utilizing apps that allow them to fake their caller ID. Recently scammers have been pretending to be police officers. Sometimes the scammers can even use a real police officer’s name to make their claims sound legitimate, such as was the case recently in Great Falls. The scammers then proceed to make false claims or ask for payment under the threat of arrest or payment.

“You have warrants for your arrest, send me money and we’ll squash their warrants, otherwise police are going to come arrest you,’” says Adam Shanks, Sergeant of the Criminal Investigations Division with Helena Police Department.

Shanks wants to remind folks that police officers will never ask you for money over the phone.

“The thing that for the public to realize or remember is that police officers will never ask you for money on the phone. Ever. Police officers will never request you to get any kind of money in the form of green dot cards or any kind of gift card or anything of that nature. Essentially it would come down to, they would tell you to report to a judge. If it was a legitimate they would say turn yourself into the judge or the jail,” says Shanks

If you have received a message that sounds similar to this you can always call Helena Police Department dispatch to make sure the claims are not legitimate.

The Helena-Lewis and Clark 911 Center warned of a similar scam last week.