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Scam targets nonprofits and job seekers

Issouf Sanogo
AFP via Getty Images
New scam targets nonprofits and job seekers.

Officials are warning of a new scam targeting Montana nonprofits.

Yellowstone Public Radio’s Orlinda Worthington reports on what organizations, and individuals, need to know to avoid being a victim of this hoax.

The Montana Office of Consumer Protection tells YPR they have received eight suspicious donations reported to their office. The Montana Nonprofit association is reporting around 25 cases.

It works like this… individuals under fake names make a donation to organizations on behalf of a recently deceased family member. Once the checks are cashed by the non-profit the scammer asks for money back claiming accountant error. The non-profit sends the requested portion of the money back to the scammer before realizing that their check is fraudulent.

Montana Office of Consumer Protection attorney Jake Griffith says this type of scam is not only targeting nonprofits.

“Individuals see this most often in employment type scams where they believe they’ve been hired for remote work. A company will send them a large check for setup fees and say ‘oops, we didn’t mean to send you that much, please refund some of it.’”

To avoid falling for this scam, Griffith says research the individual or entity named on any check you receive in the mail and never return money immediately after cashing a check.

In Billings, I’m Orlinda Worthington

To report an attempted scam, call the office of consumer protection or your local law enforcement agency.

Orlinda Worthington hosts “Morning Edition” weekdays on YPR. She brings 20 years of experience as Montana television news anchor, producer, and reporter.