Government Imposter Scams
The Federal Trade Commission provides information about how to recognize a government imposter, beat a government imposter scam and report the scam. Visit their website by clicking here.
More information about specific scams is available below.
Department of Corrections Arrest Warrant Scam
Callers are telling prospective victims that they will text them payment directions and that the victims owe several hundreds of dollars. The caller goes on to threaten prospective victims with jail by the end of the business day if they do not pay. The scammers use extremely aggressive tactics, including telling prospective victims that the phone call is being recorded, as well as stating that the arrest warrants are ready to be forwarded and if they don’t follow the texted directions to their phone number on how to pay, that they will go to jail.
WHAT TO DO:
If you or a family member receives one of these calls, your best bet is to hang up. But if you do get into a conversation, don’t give anyone money or credit/debit card information over the phone, and don’t trust callers who use threats or insults to bully you. Don’t be pressured into mailing Green Dot cards or giving out personal information.
Report the incident to local law enforcement. You may also call the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or visit them at https://dojmt.gov/consumer
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Sweepstakes Scam
Scammers send letters claiming that a FTC investigation into sweepstakes companies revealed that you won a large prize. They might ask you to send a bond to release your prize or ask you to hire a company to help you claim the prize.
The FTC will never ask you for money to claim a prize and neither will any legitimate sweepstakes. Any letter that says otherwise is a scam.
Visit this page for more information: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/sweepstakes-scam-uses-ftc-commissioners-name-vain
The scam involves a caller asking you for your personal information over the phone in order that you get a new Medicare card.
The scam is an attempt to steal your identity.
If you get such a call, hang up. Then please report the call to the Montana Office of Consumer Protection. You can call (800) 481-6896 or use the complaint forms by clicking here.
For more information about Medicare and identity theft, click here.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Scam
Scammers pretending to be from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are making phone calls to try to steal your personal information.
The scammers have “spoofed” the SNAP toll-free Hotline number, 1-800-221-5689, so that number shows up when they call you. They offer assistance for filling out a SNAP application or other services such as home security systems. Then they ask for your personal information. But they are not from SNAP.
Remember: NEVER provide personal information or your credit card number to anyone unless you called first and you know they are who you think they are. If you think you get one or more of these scam calls, you can file a complaint at: https://www.fcc.gov/spoofing. If you have already fallen victim to this or a similar scam, please visit: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft for more information on identity theft.