HELENA – The Better Business Bureau, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Montana Department of Justice says that residents need to be aware of deceptive licensing websites.

Recently the Better Business Bureau has seen a rise of complaints nationwide regarding businesses that appear to be selling both fishing and driver’s licenses.

These deceptive sites in fact only sell downloadable informational guides which can cost almost as much as the license themselves. Online searches will often give a return that has deceptive sites listed alongside government ones.

The Office of Consumer Protection Investigator Marcus Meyer said those types of websites often look as if they are official even though they are not.

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“The wording is going to be very similar on the sites as well but they want to be aware of those extra fees or hidden fees that area attached to those sites,” said Meyer.

Meyer added that the best way to avoid getting tricked is to look for the “.gov” in the url.

Residents are always advised to read the fine print on the sites and contact government agencies directly if they suspect something to be wrong. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a scam can report it to BBB here. The DOJ also offers help reporting scams.

Montanans who believe they may be a victim of a scam can report it to the Montana Office of Consumer Protection by calling toll-free 800-481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or e-mailing contactocp@mt.gov.

More information about licenses and permits can be found here.