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Beware of Internet Hunting and Fishing License Sales Scams

Fake websites pretending to sell licenses have increased as state DNRs move to online fulfillment.

Beware of Internet Hunting and Fishing License Sales Scams
Many high lakes have little forage and, therefore, small trout. But in lakes that are rich in food, well-fed rainbows will greedily inhale a fly. (Gary Lewis photo)

In 2019, as Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) considered moving all sales of its hunting and fishing licenses to the Internet, some resource managers in the agency worried about fake sites trying to dupe hunters and anglers.

Would setting up a virtual storefront for licenses, which account for just over 70 percent of the agency’s annual budget, give online pirates and thieves another pool of customers to defraud? The question was especially sharp for FWP, since a substantial share of its customers are not particularly tech-savvy or familiar with doing business electronically, as the agency discovered when it moved a portion of its license sales to...

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