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Montana state auditor warns of increase in scams

Posted at 6:34 PM, Apr 11, 2020

Financial concerns also continue to mount during this pandemic. Scams aimed at seniors can always be a problem and even more now.

State Auditor and Securities and Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale, a Republican, is warning Montanans about fraud exploitation.

His office, along with the Montana attorney general, the U.S. Attorney and several other agencies formed the Montana Senior Financial Exploitation Task Force two years ago.

Rosendale said fraudulent schemes can take many forms during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online
  • Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations
  • Fake investment opportunities, Ponzi schemes, and securities fraud
  • Unsolicited, fraudulent offers of mortgage relief, advance fee scams, and fake banking services
  • Any calls stating that the caller needs banking information in order to deposit stimulus checks
  • Any unsolicited contact asking for personal or financial information online or over the phone
  • Any communication where you don’t recognize the sender, even if it supposedly from a government agency, asking you to click on a link

"First," Rosendale said, "is the investment being offered with a guaranteed high return with little or no risk? That should be an immediate red flag. Second, if someone's trying to offer you a can't miss investment opportunity and put you on the spot and says we need to have a commitment today or right now, don't be afraid to walk way from that investment. And third, if the person who's offering that investment, are they properly licensed or registered in the state of Montana."

To find out if some one is legitimate, Rosendale said to call 406-444-2040 or check the website.

He was part of tele-town hall meeting on Thursday on the scams.