MISSOULA – One of the most recent scams hitting Montana is people posing as government officials.
The Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Scam Tracker Report was notified of someone trying to get a business to purchase a Montana Certificate of Fact at a high price. But those can be purchased directly from the state for about $5.
One in five people targeted by a government impostor scam fall victim and lose money, making this scam number eight in the 2021 Scam Tracker Risk Report when looking at individuals and the second highest scam reported by businesses.
“Trying to get you to act fast and then give you time to think it’s really important for the people at home or people in their business. To know that it’s okay to take a step back even if they are a legitimate government agency. You can take a step back you can also if you feel uncomfortable if they called you, you can hang up that phone, go to that agency’s website and actually place the phone call yourself to that agency just to make sure that it’s a legitimate actor.” – BBB Communications Manager Logan Hickel
The BBB has some tips on how you can avoid falling victim to this scam:
- Government agencies will not call and threaten you.
- Currently, government agencies do not take payment in the form of cryptocurrency, gift cards, or wire transfers.
- There is no such thing as suspending a Social Security number.
- Do not pay to “unlock”, because then it is not free.