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FBI warning Montanans to beware of government impersonation scams



Salt Lake City, Utah – The FBI Salt Lake City Division has received more allegations of con artists impersonating FBI agents and attempting to defraud Montanans.

In multiple cases in Montana, victims received phone calls from someone posing as an FBI agent. The imposter informed them that their identity had been taken. The victims were told to transfer their funds to the “FBI” for safekeeping from their bank and investment accounts. They claimed to be inside a convenience store, and they were told to accomplish this by placing their money into a “federal” Bitcoin ATM.

Please be aware that federal agencies do not solicit personal information or money from people over the phone or via email. Calls that seem to be coming from a valid phone number for an organization are false, as scammers frequently fake caller ID information. The caller should report the call and hang up right away.

The government impersonation fraud comes in a variety of forms, all of which take advantage of intimidation techniques. Usually, the caller informs the recipient that charges have been brought against them or will be filed shortly and threatens to seize their belongings, block their bank accounts, or have them arrested if money is not paid right away. The caller gets more combative if the recipient asks inquiries. The caller usually tells the recipients that the case will cost thousands of dollars in fees or court costs to resolve, and in order to prevent being arrested, they should send “settlement” money or make payment with prepaid cards or gift cards.

In 2022, 11,554 victims of government impersonation schemes reported losses totaling $240,553,091, with 44 victims in Montana reporting financial losses of $47,940, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

The FBI will never:

• Call or email private citizens to demand payment or threaten arrest. You will also not be asked to wire a “settlement” to avoid arrest. • Ask you to deposit your money into a bitcoin ATM.

• Ask you for wire transfers or gift cards.

• Call you about “frozen” Social Security numbers or to coordinate inheritances.

Scams masquerading as the FBI and other government entities are a recurring issue that can also happen through email. Spelling errors, grammatical errors, and missing words are common indicators of a scam email. Using images of the FBI Director, the FBI seal, and/or letterhead can give fraudulent emails the appearance of credibility.

People who would like verification that they have been contacted by an FBI agent are advised to contact the FBI Salt Lake City Division at (801) 579-1400 and request to speak with someone personally.

You should exercise caution when taking calls from numbers you are unfamiliar with in order to avoid falling for this scam. Never transmit money to someone you do not know and trust directly. Never divulge your personal information—including your Social Security number—to strangers or over the phone.

Kindly report any financial loss you may have had as a result of this fraud to both your local law enforcement agency and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at

Even if there is no monetary loss, all fraud schemes and scams should be reported to IC3. By submitting a complaint, you enable FBI analysts to find trends and leads among the hundreds of complaints they get every day. The complaints and their analysis are subsequently forwarded by the IC3 to the appropriate law enforcement agency in order to support public awareness and education campaigns aimed at preventing crime.







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