The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office has been notified of a new scam hitting the western Montana area. Public Information Officer Jeannette Smith provides these details.

“We have had several reports come in of individuals identifying themselves as law enforcement and specifically deputies from the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office,” Smith said. “They are letting folks know that money is owed and that they must pay immediately or the individual will be arrested. Following that, they are asked to provide information related to their personal banking or some other form of payments to pay the bill immediately. Again, they tell those folks that they will be arrested if they don’t pay that bill.”

Smith warns potential victims not to respond to the orders given by the caller.

“We are just letting folks know that this is happening,” Smith said. “We are making people aware that law enforcement will not call and request banking or credit card information over the phone. If you receive a text message or any other type of other message stating that it is the sheriff’s office, a sheriff’s office deputy, or other law enforcement agency, and they ask you to call that number and pay the money owed, please do not call that number that is listed.”

Smith said legitimate law enforcement and other government agencies do not contact people over the phone.

“Government agencies and other business will not call you and request financial information over the phone,” Smith said. “If you do get a call, make sure you question it. Before you provide any personal or financial information, you should call the cited agency or organization and confirm with them the request.”

Smith asks anyone who has received such a call or who has already been scammed to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 728-0911.