AG Knudsen offers 3 tips to avoid scams as Montanans finish last-minute shopping
HELENA – As Montanans finish their last-minute Christmas shopping, Attorney General Austin Knudsen is reminding Montanans to be aware of common scams, which tend to ramp up during the holidays.
“Don’t let a scammer ruin the holidays with your friends and family,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “I encourage all Montanans to take precautions and be on high alert for scammers trying to take advantage of them this Christmas.”
Attorney General Knudsen shared the following tips and reminders to avoid falling victim to a scam while finishing your holiday shopping:
- When purchasing gift cards, check the terms and keep the receipts. Remember, Montana law stipulates that gift cards and gift certificates do not expire unless the business is sold. Gift cards can also be redeemed for cash if they were originally for more the $5 but have less than $5 remaining.
- When making a purchase through social media: verify the company, ensure the website is secure before paying, check the account’s public information, and be cautious when clicking links.
- Use a credit card for online shopping so you can track your purchases and dispute any charges you didn’t make or don’t recognize with the credit card company. Do not use gift cards to make a payment. Anyone who asks you to pay using a gift card is most likely a scammer.
“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “Take your time and think through your decision before making a purchase or giving to a charity during the holidays.”
Montanans can report any phone, email, or mail scams to the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at https://app.doj.mt.gov/OCPPortal/?q=node/396, [email protected], or (406) 444-4500 or toll free at (800) 481-6896.