Scam Targets Montana Nonprofits

February 12, 2024 / Comments Off on Scam Targets Montana Nonprofits


Beware of unexpected large donations.

The MNA team received word over the weekend that a check cashing scam hit a number of Montana nonprofits. So far we know of at least nineteen organizations that have been targeted by the same scheme. Please be on the lookout for this scam.

It goes like this:

  1. Organization receives an unexpected donation of around $200,000 to honor someone’s late mother. Multiple orgs have said the amount the received was $191,250, and that the email came from Alphonso Blye.
  2. The cashier’s check looks legitimate so they cash it.
  3. Within a few days, the same donor emails to say there has been a mistake – the donation should have been $100,000 – and could the organization refund the remainder?
  4. Meanwhile, the cashed check bounces and the organization is out $91,000.

So far, everyone who has contacted us has managed to catch the scam before falling victim, but with this amount of money, the scammer only needs to convince one.

What to do if you’re a target

Please be wary! NEVER send money to someone whose identity you cannot verify with 100% certainty. When in doubt – ask the donor to wait 30 days before issuing a refund.

If your organization has been a target of this scam, please let us know by calling 406-449-3717, or emailing [email protected].

We also ask that you report it to the Attorney General’s office (File a Scam Report) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Reporting the scam will help us gather resources in case a member of the nonprofit community does fall victim and needs help recovering the $91,000.

What MNA is doing

We’ve alerted all of our members, and posted about this issue on our social media channels. We’ve also contacted the Montana Bankers Association, US Bank, First Interstate Bank, Stockman Bank, Opportunity Bank, and Glacier Bank to let them know about the issue. Our hope is that none of these bad checks get deposited, and that if they do, no one falls for sending money to the scammer.