New Law Targets Scammers - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

New Law Targets Scammers

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Montana Attorney General, Tim Fox, says one in four elderly Montanans falls victim to scams, but a new law in Montana goes after those scammers.

The new law enhances the penalty on anyone who tries to scam senior citizens, by allowing the judge to double the defendant's fine.

According to the Montana Attorney General's office, the most targeted group of people in the Treasure State is over the age of 60.

Sue Bailey who works with the elderly and says she sees far too many scams.

"This is a step in the right direction in getting the recognition that seniors and folks with disabilities are often especially targeted," said Sue Bailey, Resource Center Program Manager. "Seniors come from a different generation. They're used to people telling them, you know, you tell each other the truth. Your word is your bond. Well unfortunately, these days there's a lot of people out there who aren't telling the truth."

Evagene Emmett says scammers are getting smarter and smarter. She knows because she's been a target.

Emmett says someone hacked into her husband's e-mail address, and sent over 700 emails that said they were stuck in Spain and needed money.

"We've had several of them done in, or families the same way. It makes me so mad. I'd like to get a hold of them and choke 'em," said Emmet. "When we finally got a hold of Yahoo, they gave us a number to call. And when we checked, that call had come from Nigeria, the IP number."

Jerry Emmett, Evagene's husband, says they received a call from someone who acted like their granddaughter. The caller said she was in the Canadian jail and needed $3,000.

The hope is the new measure will help protect the state's most vulnerable population.

KULR-8 viewers say scammers are calling and asking for bank account numbers to issue a new Medicare card.

If you are a victim of a scam, you can call the Montana Attorney General's office at (406) 442-1648 to file a report.