FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 10, 2013
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has recently taken a report of a telephone scam wherein the caller stated that the individual had won a cash prize from Publisher’s Clearinghouse and requested them to send a sum of money to a bank in Mexico City in order to claim the cash “prize.” After this initial call was received, a second call was made to the same number and the caller claimed to be an FBI Special Agent, allegedly calling to verify and legitimize the first call. That call was followed by another call from a person claiming to be Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin also allegedly to provide legitimacy of the first call. The caller ID indicated that call came from 406-582-2100, which, in fact, is the main number to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. On the surface, this may look legitimate but it is a scam.
Sheriff Gootkin cautions anyone receiving a call similar to this to not fall victim to the scam. If you have legitimately won a prize, you should not have to send money to claim it. Do not give out any of your own personal information such as address, bank information, credit/debit card numbers, social security information, etc. In some cases if you ask the caller for their name and number, they will disconnect the call.
Because of the increasing numbers of these types of telephone scams and similar internet scams, and the multi-jurisdictional (local, state, federal, international) issues associated with them, it is very difficult to narrow the scope of an investigation down to one individual or a group of individuals responsible for the scams. Therefore, Sheriff Gootkin again cautions citizens to use common sense and be vigilant in protecting your personal and financial information