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Office Of Consumer Protection Prevented Losses

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is reminding Montanans to be aware of criminals trying to scam them as the Department of Justice’s Office fielded 974 scam complaints and saved Montanans from losing more than nearly $900,000 in 2022.

In 2022, OCP recovered $712,884 for Montanans who were victimized by scammers and prevented consumers who called inquiring about whether they were being scammed from losing $168,020. Additionally, a total potential loss of $2,806,969 was reported to OCP by Montanans who knew they were being targeted by a scammer but did not pay them.

“The Office of Consumer Protection does great work educating and protecting-Montanans from scammers trying to steal their hardearned money,” Knudsen said. “I urge everyone to please learn how to spot a scam and think twice before you provide a stranger with money or personal information. Contact our office immediately if you think you’ve been a victim. We are here to help.”

Montanans should keep these tips in mind to protect themselves from scammers: Don’t give out personal information to someone soliciting it from you over the phone or the internet. Banks will never and government agencies will never call and ask for your personal information.

Never wire or give money to someone you don’t know. Don’t send gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or cryptocurrency to someone you do not know. Even if you think it’s someone you now, follow up to make sure before you wire any money.

Use common sense and do your due diligence: ask around, talk to others, call OCP if you have any doubts or questions.

Be skeptical, resist high pressure tactics, take your time. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Last year, Knudsen also warned Montana ranchers of a cattle feed scam. The Office of Consumer Protection estimates that New Way Ag may have stolen up to $5 million from Montanans after receiving payments for promised grain hay, barley straw, and wheat straw, but never delivering any product to their victims.

The Office of Consumer Protection also helped get nearly $100,000 in restitution for at least 358 victims who were deceived by operators of an alleged tech support scheme. Victims paid hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for technical support services they never received from India-based cold callers offering to remove harmful viruses or malware for a fee on the computers of unsuspecting victims.

Montanans can report any phone, email, or mail scams to the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at [email protected], or 406-444-4500 (tollfree: 800-481-6896), or online at

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