Attorney General Jim Hood warns consumers of recent e-mail scam

JACKSON, Mississippi — Attorney General Jim Hood is warning consumers and businesses to be aware of a recent email scam purporting to help overseas military personnel with packages in the U.S..

The unsolicited email suggests that the sender is a military officer who has two military trunk boxes that just arrived in the U.S.A. and is needing help with safekeeping. In order to help, a reply is needed where then, the alleged military officer claims to have $40 million dollars in the trunks and needs an address to send the money to until he returns. The email continues to ask the recipient for various types of information such as who their employer is, marriage status and a request for a copy of a form of identification.

An investigator with the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office has confirmed this email is a scam that is originating overseas.

“Scam artists will use the names of respected military personnel and organizations to lure consumers into thinking they are helping someone in our military or a trusted entity, when in fact the scammer is actually asking for your information they can use to engage in various scams such as sending you counterfeit checks, postal money orders or stealing your identity” said Attorney General Hood. “Because of this, we continue to urge consumers to use caution before acting on unsolicited emails, voice mails, text messages or phone calls requesting personal information and/or money. Educating consumers is one of the most important actions we can take to combat scams.”

Bogus phone calls and emails are constantly surfacing.  The Attorney General offers some basic tips to help keep you from becoming a victim of these or similar scams:

» NEVER reply to an email, pop-up, telephone or text message that asks for personal or financial information. Legitimate companies WILL NOT ask for this information.

» ALWAYS contact the organization using a telephone number you know to be correct if you are concerned about your account. Do not call or text the number left in the message, and NEVER follow an internet link to a site.

» ALWAYS keep your anti-virus software up to date. In addition, use a firewall, which helps to make you invisible on the Internet and blocks communication from unauthorized sources.

» BE CAUTIOUS about opening attachments or downloading files from emails you receive, regardless of the sender.

Anyone who suspects they have been a victim of this scam or any other, should contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418.

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