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Local Woman Terrorized by Phone Scammer Posing as NPC Deputy

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We begin tonight with a new scam, but this one has a threatening message that had local police searching a Genesee Home.

KLEW News Reporter Shannon Moudy joins us in studio with more. New at six.

Imagine thisyou receive a call from someone who identifies themselves as chief deputy. He tells you that you will be arrested if you don’t immediately pay money for bond. The caller ID says it’s the local sheriff’s office, what do you do?

This exact scenario happened to one Genesee woman, who wants to share her story so that others won’t fall for this threatening scam.

Jody Colegrove is proud of her home off of Highway-95 between Lewiston and Genesee. It’s fairly remote and quiet, but that all changed yesterday when she was terrorized for hours by someone claiming to be from the Nez Perce County Sheriff Office.

“He said his name was Chief Deputy Bryce,” said Colegrove. “Nez Perce County it’s urgent. And he said that Terry and I had not shown up for jury duty.”

The fake Chief Deputy Bryce also started a three-way call, with someone claiming to be from the attorney general’s office. It all sounded very official, but Jody was unsure.

"The caller ID said Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office, and he was like 'Do you believe me now?'

Jody called dispatch at the sheriff’s office, who told her that this wasn’t the real Chief Deputy Scrimsher, and the FBI later told her they can put up fake phone numbers on caller ID through a process called spoofing.

According to the FCC ‘spoofing’ itself is not illegal, but under the Truth in Calling Act, FCC rules prohibit any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. And impersonating an officer is illegal.

We did reach out to Lewiston police who told us this case is being handled by Nez Perce County. We also put in a call to Chief Deputy Bryce Scrimsher, but have not heard back as of this time.

The Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office did put out a press release saying residents in Nez Perce and Idaho Counties have reported this scam. The callers use variations on Chief Deputy Bryce, and are even showing up on caller ID as the sheriff’s office.

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Law enforcement want you to know they will never make these types of calls and urge you to not give out personal information or feel threatening into sending money. Instead immediately report scams to actual law enforcement agencies.

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