Social Security Scam Circulating Again

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls of a scam involving Social Security Numbers. The scam call is generally a voice recording stating that the person’s Social Security Number has been suspended or compromised in some fashion.  The recording then states for the caller to press #1 to speak to an authorized Social Security Representative. Once they have you on the line they try to manipulate you into giving them your social security information and personal information.

The Sheriff’s Office advises the community not to respond to the call or any requests the caller may make.

Social Security Scam

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls of a scam involving Social Security Numbers. The scam call is generally a voice recording stating that the person’s Social Security Number has been suspended. The recording then states for the caller to press #1 to speak to an authorized Social Security Representative.

The Sheriff’s Office advises the community not to respond to the call or any requests the caller may make.

Drowning in Hyalite Canyon Reservoir

On August 7th the Gallatin County sheriffs office, Hyalite fire department, AMR and REACH AIR were dispatched to the Hyalite canyon reservoir.

The Sheriff’s Office had received a report of a five-year-old child who had drowned. The child had been underwater for a short period of time before family members and bystanders located him. Resuscitation efforts were immediately initiated and continued until the child was pronounced deceased at Bozeman Deaconess Health Services.

The parents and siblings were from out of state and were visiting the area. The Sheriff’s Office and other responders would like to express their condolences to the family.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office MSPOA Announcement

The Montana Sheriff’s and Peace Officers (MSPOA) is sending letters to residences informing them of the Honorary Membership with the MSPOA. If you should receive a letter, this is a legitimate offer of membership and the support of our citizens is greatly appreciated.

Sheriff Gootkin has endorsed this letter encouraging the community’s involvement.  As a reminder, the MSPOA never solicits for memberships or fundraising via the telephone.

Phone Scams

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens regarding a phone scam that is circulating the area. The scammer states they are a Deputy with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and informs the person that they have missed jury duty. They then instruct the person to purchase Google Play Cards, Green Dot Cards, etc. in order to avoid arrest.

These scams are intricate as the number they appear to be calling from says it is the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office calling and it does give the correct Sheriff’s Office phone number of 582-2100. If you receive one of these calls, hang up. Do not adhere to their request of payment. The Sheriff’s Office does not conduct business in this manner. We would never request any kind of payment via the phone.

Verizon Wireless Scam

March 20, 2019

Bozeman, MT

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls of a scam involving individuals posing as the Verizon Wireless Collections Department. When the scammer has the victim on the line, they will state they need to transfer the victim to the Fraud Department of Verizon Wireless.

The catch here is they do transfer you to the Fraud Department for Verizon Wireless, however, they stay on the other line and listen to the victim give all of their personal information to the real Verizon personnel, thus gaining access to the victims account and any personal identifying information requested by the Verizon fraud department.

If you receive a call such as this, do not allow them to transfer you. Hang up the phone, and call the number from your Verizon Wireless account directly. These scammers are aggressive and persistent.

GCSO Public Safety Academy

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) Public Safety Academy affords Gallatin County citizens an opportunity to experience law enforcement from the inside.  For ten weeks, one night a week, you can learn from the best in law enforcement, crisis intervention, search and rescue, and emergency medical services.  The Academy will lead you through making traffic stops, field sobriety maneuvers, crime scene management and evidence collection, and hands-on CPR.  You will be able to ride along with a GCSO Deputy, sit beside a 9-1-1 dispatcher, and tour the Detention Center.  You can try on the body armor worn by the Special Response Team, learn how undercover detectives track drug deals, climb inside an air ambulance, and watch a K9 stop a bad guy.    This is a great introduction to how public safety works in your community!

The eighth GCSO Public Safety Academy is tentatively scheduled for March 26 through May 28, 2019. The Academy is held every Tuesday evening from 6-9 pm. The Academy is free and open to any Gallatin County resident 18 years and older.  For more information, or to register, contact Captain Shane Frantz by phone at 582-2120 or by e-mail at shane.frantz@gallatin.mt.gov.

Two Top Trail Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  On Saturday March 16, 2018 at 1:38 pm, the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch center received a 911 call reporting a snowmobile crash on the Two Top Trail approximately 2 miles west of the Town of West Yellowstone. The injured party, a 45-year-old female from Montana, had sustained a left leg injury when the snowmobile she was a passenger on flipped over while turning a corner on the trail. The driver of the snowmobile was able to call 911 immediately for assistance.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone and Hebgen Basin Fire Department.Rescuers met the injured party at the scene of the crash approximately 25 minutes after the initial call for help.  The injured female was conscious, but in a lot of pain in the lower left leg area. The patient was placed in a specialized rescue sled and transported to a nearby location to meet an ambulance crew.  The ambulance then transported the patient to the Big Sky Medical Center.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to be careful when recreating in the backcountry, even when on a groomed trail.  Changing terrain and trail conditions can sometimes bring unexpected adventure to a fun day of snowmobiling.  Always remember to ride with a partner and carry a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency.  Because these two riders were together and had cellular communication, rescue responders were able to locate them and get on scene very quickly.

Back Country Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  On Wednesday February 27, 2019 at 10:38 pm., the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch center received a 911 call reporting two missing snowmobilers. Three males were snowmobiling in an extreme backcountry area and became separated.  One rider made it out to a safe location and contacted 911 to report his friends missing and presumed stuck.  He was able to provide an approximate GPS location for last known location of his friends.  He also reported that his friends had no overnight survival gear or any type of light source.

The lost snowmobilers, a 29 & 26-year-old male from Minnesota, were last reported in the Teepee Creek basin, 16 miles north of West Yellowstone. The GPS location showed the terrain to be heavily wooded.  Due to extremely heavy snow over the last several days, the area in which the snowmobilers were believed to be in was very difficult to access and air resources were unable to fly. The decision was made to wait for daylight to send a ground crew into the area the following day.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Carisch Helicopter out of Bozeman, and Custer Gallatin National Forest Service responded.  A group of nine rescue personnel responded on snowmobiles to the GPS location provided.

A ground team in addition to a helicopter from Carisch Helicopters were sent to the area to begin the search the following morning. Inclement weather and heavy snowfall forced the helicopter to turn back, however the ground team was able to make radio contact with the snowmobilers approximately one hour into the search. An additional hour was necessary for rescuers to make it to the snowmobilers who were uninjured and in good health. Rescue personnel were able to assist the missing snowmobilers back to town.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to be careful when recreating off trail and to know your limitations.  A fun adventure into the amazing backcountry areas we have access to can quickly turn into an emergency situation.  Always remember to ride with a partner, stay with your partner, carry a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency, and be prepared to survive the night if you should have to.

Avalanche Victim Identified

On February 26, 2019, Gallatin County Dispatch Center received a call of an avalanche in the Truman Gulch canyon. Gallatin County Search and Rescue, Bridger Ski Patrol, Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, and Central Helicopters responded to the scene.

Two skiers in the area observed the skier who was caught in the avalanche, they quickly located the skier and attempted to resuscitate.

Thirty-six year-old Peter Lazar of Bozeman was pronounced dead at the scene due to injuries sustained from the avalanche.