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DOJ Office of Consumer Protection prevented Montanans from losing nearly $800,000 in 2023

HELENA – Attorney General Austin Knudsen is encouraging Montanans to always be on the lookout for criminals trying to scam them as the Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) fielded 958 scam complaints and saved Montanans from losing nearly $800,000 in 2023.

In 2023, OCP prevented Montanans from losing $526,000 to scammers and recovered $267,000 for customers who filed complaints about businesses. Additionally, a total potential loss of $770,000 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 is here to help keep Montanan’s hard-earned money out of the hands of scammers,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “While OCP is here to help, please remember to stay vigilant and never provide a stranger with money or personal information. If you think you have been a victim of a scam, contact our office immediately.”

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 know, follow up to make sure before you wire any money.
  • Use common sense and do your due diligence: ask around, talk to others, and 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!

Montanans can report any phone, email, or mail scams to the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at contactocp@mt.gov, or 406-444-4500 (toll-free: 800-481-6896), or online at dojmt.gov/consumer.

Press release provided by the Montana Department of Justice

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