New E-Mail Scam Targeting Montanans

Posted on 04/24/2014 by | AARP Montana | Comments

Montana Department of Revenue Warns of Email Scam

FWN_logo_AARP_RGB_1_The Montana Department of Revenue is warning people about a new email scam that could potentially harm computer systems, and steal identities and financial information. These email messages target people in and out of state. They are not from the department and the department recommends that people delete these fraudulent email notifications.

Taxpayers are receiving email messages with a variety of subjects, one that claims they owe money to the Montana Department of Revenue.

“We consider these scams to be serious threats to the public,” said Revenue Department Director Mike Kadas. “We want to assure people that we’re being vigilant and taking necessary measures to advise the public of these threats in a timely manner.”

The scam messages do not contain Montana phone numbers or mailing addresses.  Most important, the department does not initiate contact with our customers through email.  All notifications regarding money owed would be sent through the U.S. Postal Service with the official State of Montana, Department of Revenue letterhead.

This is another reason people should keep virus shield software active and updated on all electronic devices.

Identity theft, investment fraud and scams rob millions of Americans of their hard-earned money. In 2012, 12.6 million people were victims of identity theft alone—that’s one person every 3 seconds. According to the latest Javelin Strategy and Research reports on fraud, more than $20 billion is stolen annually from about 13 million victims. Older adults tend to lose about $3 billion every year.

That’s why AARP has launched the Fraud Watch Network—a campaign to fight identity theft and fraud and give you access to information about how to protect yourself and your family and friends. Non-members and members alike can get our watchdog alerts, learn about active scams, and find resources about what to do to spot and avoid them. We’re inviting anyone, of any age, to access our website and network of resources free of charge.  For more information, log onto: aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

Officials very recently discovered this revenue scam when the call center began receiving calls about this scam from people both in and out of state.  If you have questions about emails you may have received, please don’t hesitate to call our call center toll free at (866) 859-2254, or in Helena at 444-6900. Regular call center hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about guarding against identity theft and what to do if you think you’ve become the victim of the crime, call the Montana Department of Justice, Consumer Protection Office at 1-800-481-6896 or email contactocp@mt.gov.