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Montana Office of Consumer Protection warns of crypto scam

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Posted at 2:46 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 16:46:03-05

HELENA — The Montana Office of Consumer Protection says a cryptocurrency scam is targeting businesses that took out Paycheck Protection Program loans during the pandemic.

The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, gave loans to businesses to help pay and retain employees during the height of the pandemic. In most cases, businesses could have the loans forgiven.

According to the office, scammers use publicly available information including the loan amount, the lender, and the name of the business that took the loan to identify potential targets.

The scammer will then attempt to trick people into making payments with cryptocurrency to lift warrants for alleged non-payment of loans. In reality, the loan has likely already been forgiven.

If they are successful in getting the person to make a payment through a Bitcoin ATM the money is irretrievable and cannot be recovered by local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies.

OCP wants to remind all Montanans that law enforcement or government agencies will never contact people asking for money to lift arrest warrants.

If you receive such a call it is a scam and do not respond or follow any requests.