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The Ravalli Republic’s telephone number apparently has been hacked as part of a car warranty scam.

A customer informed the newspaper earlier today that he received a phone call that his caller ID showed was from the Ravalli Republic. The caller said the customer’s car warranty was going to expire, and wanted money to extend the warranty. Luckily, the customer did not fall for the scam.

Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton said he hadn’t received any reports recently about this, but urged anyone who gets a call regarding a car warranty expiring to call local law enforcement. He’s familiar with similar situations in which someone’s telephone number has been hijacked.

“What they’re doing is using software and apps that can generate random local numbers that appear on caller ID,” Holton said. “I doubt they’re targeting the Ravalli Republic; I think it was just your number that was generated.”

He urges people receiving a warranty sales call from the Ravalli Republic — 406-363-3300 — to notify the caller that they are aware this is a fraudulent call and hang up. 

Holton notes that it’s nearly impossible to track down the source of the calls since they go through many routers across the nation before the call is placed. The scammers also will use other local numbers to try to get people to answer their telephones thinking that they know the caller.

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