Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans of a prevalent scam taking place across the State. The method is called “phishing,” (pronounced the same as, “fishing”) and it is when scam artists email messages to consumers that appear to pitch products or services, when in actuality, these emails are specifically set up to gain information. Often, the message will alert the individual to a potential problem with their account and request the consumer provide private information like an account number, date of birth or Social Security number in order to remedy the issue.
Phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the internet without your knowledge. They are not only illegal, but they are dangerous to unsuspecting consumers.
“I urge all Arkansans to be cautious if you receive an email asking for your information, it could be scam artists trying to phish for your information,” said AG Rutledge. “Even with online protection software, scammers and con artists will continue to try to take your information; don’t fall prey to the trap.”
Remember these tips when safely navigating online:
• No legitimate company will ever send you an unsolicited email asking for your personal information.
• If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply.
• Contact the business identified in the original email directly. Using the customer service number provided to you on a reliable statement to verify that the issue in the original email is legitimate.
• Do not give sensitive information in response to an unsolicited request.
• Immediately delete all suspicious emails, and never open email attachments or click on links from unknown sources.
• Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them regularly.
The Attorney General’s Office provides a tip card for consumers, how to spot phishing scams, information for parents to spot cyberbullying and tips on internet safety.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982, firstname.lastname@example.org or ArkansasAG.gov.