Scams have been part of a growth industry for enterprising thieves in our world. However, sometimes the "good guys" beat the odds and win.

Montana's Attorney General Austin Knudsen looked back at last year for successes and reported that the Office of Consumer Protection prevented scammers from getting over a million dollars from Montanans.

Besides that, the office recovered over $869.000 in scams that were reported by consumers who called because they were not feeling good about a deal they had made. Payments that were scheduled to be paid to scams were stopped, saving another $465,000, along with over a million dollars that could have been potentially lost, but citizens had called for help.

And that's the key. Knudsen wrote, "If you suspect you may be the victim of a scammer, contact our office immediately."

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Of course, there are the often repeated warnings:

  • Don't give out personal information to people soliciting it over the phone. Banks and government agencies don't ask for personal information on the phone.
  • Never wire or give money to someone you don't know. Don't send gift cards, pre-paid debit carts or cryptocurrency to someone you don't know.
  • Ask around, talk to others and call the Office of Consumer Protection if you're the least bit unsure.
  • Most importantly, be skeptical, especially if there is a high pressure sales pitch. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Knudsen has also been working with other state attorneys general to try to stop robocalls and to also stop robocalls coming from outside the U.S. Montanans can report any phone, email or regular mail scams to the Montana Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Protection at 406 444-4500 or Toll Free at 800-481-6896. Online, check their dojmt.gov/consumer website.

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