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Scammers target Montana businesses that took out COVID pandemic loans

Scammers are targeting Montana businesses that took out loans during the COVID pandemic to help retain staff.

Even though most Paycheck Protection Program loans have been forgiven, state Justice Department officials said scammers are trying to frighten people into paying up. Targeted victims are told they’ll be arrested if they hang up and then told to deposit cash into scammers’ accounts using bitcoin ATMs.

According to law enforcement, once that happens, those funds are gone forever and untraceable.

Montanans are reminded that law enforcement and government agencies will never request money to lift an arrest warrant.

Anyone who receives one of these fraudulent phone calls are urged to hang up and ignore the demands.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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