We're into the Summer swing here in the Big Sky state, and that means a lot of amazing things, and some not so amazing like scammers and thieves.

Summer tourism in Montana is no joke. At times it would seem there are more out-of-staters than actual locals. With all these people traveling through the state, it can make for some easy scam targets. The newest scam on the rise in Montana seems to be the "gas for gold" scam. I've run across a few stories on Reddit, and Q2 News in Billings even wrote a story last summer. 

The breakdown is pretty simple, as most successful scams are. Here's how it works. Someone at a gas station will approach you and claim to have lost their wallet or it has been stolen. In any case, they are without money for gas and will ask you for some help so they can fill up and get to their next destination. Now, they don't want you to just GIVE them money. For most of us, that's an automatic no. What they will do is offer you some sort of jewelry as collateral or as trade. A gold ring worth hundreds for $40- $50 sounds like a pretty great trade, right?


If you haven't figured it out by now, the jewelry is fake and worth next to nothing. These scammers will travel from gas station to station running this game. They might even show you an I.D., be traveling in a higher-end vehicle, and dressed nice so as not to raise suspicion. The video below shows exactly how this could happen.

This scam can target anyone, not just locals, but many tourists traveling through. My advice in any situation like this is "If it's too good to be true, it probably is". Stay vigilant and safe this Summer!

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