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DOJ’s OCP receiving reports of work-from-home scam



Helena, Montana – Attorney General Austin Knudsen issued a warning Thursday about scammers’ attempts to deceive Montanans into divulging their personal information, including social security numbers and bank account details, by posing as remote work prospects.

Scammers are contacting Montanans via social networking sites, especially Facebook and LinkedIn, by posing as reputable businesses seeking to engage remote workers for a range of jobs, such as payroll and data processing. The scammers will request social security numbers, bank account or PayPal information, and other personally identifiable information during an initial interview procedure. It is possible to take victims’ identities or money directly from them using this information.

In addition, the fictitious business offers employment, but afterward sends the applicant a check for more equipment than they actually require, telling them to return the excess or pay for the equipment using Bitcoin ATMs. The applicant will receive notification from the bank after a few days that the checks are fraudulent and that they must pay the full amount.

“Please remain vigilant and don’t trust anyone who reaches out and offers you a job via social media without verifying it is a legitimate offer,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “Scammers will continue to find new ways to prey on Montanans and steal their hard-earned money. Meanwhile, my Office of Consumer Protection will continue to do everything they can to protect and warn individuals. If you have any questions about whether or not you are being scammed, call us immediately.”

The Office of Consumer Protection of the Montana Department of Justice provided the following red flags that a remote job opportunity might be a scam:

• A company reaching out directly through social media.
• Employment through an overseas company.
• Quick interviews or no interviews at all.
• Communication through e-mail or text only and never seeing a real person.
• Providing Social Security numbers and other personal information to secure an interview.
• A check for equipment and upfront costs and returning the balance to the company.
• Payment for equipment and upfront costs through bitcoin machines.

Please call the Montana Office of Consumer Protection at 406-444-4500 if you have any questions or believe you may have been the victim of fraud, or submit a report online at

In the previous year, OCP received 974 complaints about scams and was able to save Montanans from losing almost $900,000, including $712,884 that was recovered for those who were conned by scammers and $168,020 that was not lost by those who phoned to find out if they were being scammed.


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