Texas residents are being cautioned by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton about scammers sending deceptive emails that falsely bear his name, signature and the official seal of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in an attempt to acquire sensitive personal information.
According to the Attorney General, the instances identified by the OAG pose as communications from the Social Security Board, falsely alerting individuals that their social security number is at risk of suspension due to alleged involvement in offenses like drug trafficking, money laundering, theft and tax evasion. These deceptive emails may additionally instruct recipients to contact a toll-free phone number, which scammers exploit to pilfer their personal information.
Phishing is among the most common types of scams in which a person reaches out via call, text, mail or email to ask for personal information such as a social security number or bank information in order to steal money or one's identity. Most of the time an individual is posing as a company to pose false claims and hide their identity.
According to the Attorney General’s website, the top five ways to tell if you're being scammed are if they contacted you, use money as bait, ask for personal information, ask for payment first and ask you to wire money. These scams are becoming more common and individuals are being targeted at a higher rate.
“This email 'phishing' scam attempts to scare consumers by claiming they have committed identity theft and are facing prosecution and significant jail time, in an email that purports to be signed by the Attorney General,” a previous release read.
If you or anyone you know receives an email or any other communication like this, please report the suspected fraud to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling toll-free 1-800-621-0508, or by filing an online complaint at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.