The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of another scam in Montana:

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Do Not Ask Your AI To Search Phone Numbers

No matter how busy you are, this is now a dangerous move.

What AI?

Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant, Murf, Fireflies, Otter.  These are just a few of the AI assistants available to everyone.  I'm sure I've left many off the list

Why Is An AI Phone Search Unsafe?

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers have set up "help lines" to mirror customer service from Amazon to Zillow and everything in between.  Your virtual assistant just looks for key words to deliver the results you're after.  It can be very easy for them to call a fraudulent line or give you a fake customer service phone number.

All of these "helpers" on the scam lines will eventually ask you for your money information.

I actually had something very similar happen to me when I tried to call Hulu in January.

Read My Scammer Story Here

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How Can You Avoid Being Scammed?

From the BBB:

  • Be careful when searching for support phone numbers. Rather than doing an online search or letting your smart device look up a number, use the contact information on the business's website (always double check the URL) on your bill, receipt, or in your confirmation email.
  • Beware of fake ads. Scammers create bad ads with fake customer service numbers. Using voice search to find a number can make it harder to tell a phony listing from the real one. Get your information from the official company website or official correspondence.
  • Go straight to the source. For example, if you need to get in touch with Amazon, use the Amazon mobile app or website. This goes whether you’re seeking customer service, tech support, or when looking to make changes to your account. Visit the Message Center on Amazon.com or on the official app to review authentic emails from Amazon. Remember that reputable companies like Amazon will never ask you to provide payment information for products or services over the phone.
  • Make payments with your credit card. It’s easier to dispute a credit card payment. Paying by wire transfer or pre-paid debit card is like using cash. There is almost nothing you can do to get the money back.
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I will always say if these scammers ever tried to use their powers for good they'd rule the world.  Until then, may the odds be forever in your favor.

8 Things To Do If You Paid A Phone Scammer

Merciless phone scammers are targeting unaware folks with schemes involving pleas for charity, car warranties, unpaid traffic tickets, you name it. The Federal Trade Commission says, "Scammers often ask you to pay in ways that make it tough to get your money back. No matter what payment method you used to pay, the sooner you act, the better."
If you have paid one of these scammers and then realize you have been scammed, here are 8 tips from the Federal Trade Commission, on what to do if you have paid a scammer.

Gallery Credit: Brad Carpenter/Federal Trade Commission/Canva

6 Of The Most Common Scams Affecting Montanans

Thanks to the Montana Department of Revenue we know these 6 scams are what Montana residents will have to deal with most commonly. Knowing these scams will help protect you and your identity.

Gallery Credit: Nick Northern

Don't get fooled: Here's 24 scam texts I received in just one month

Although some may be humorous, others appear legit. Here are 24 texts I received in just one month's time, as well as one I'm surprised I never got.

Spam texts are listed in the same order that was received.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

 

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