Texans beware! A new scammer is posing as Attorney General Ken Paxton to steal personal information. Paxton addressed the issue in a press release, warning residents of Texas to be cautious of a scammer using his name, signature and the Office of the Attorney General seal to request and gain access to personal data.
“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,” stated the press release. “Recipients are then instructed to call a toll-free number to provide their personal data.”
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.
CNBC reports that in 2021, fraud cost consumers $5.8 billion. This number increased 70% since the 2020 report.
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. For more information on common scams to protect yourself from, visit the Attorney General’s website.
Local Profile has reached out to the Attorney General’s office and this story will be updated pending response.