AG's office warns of email scam - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

AG's office warns of email scam

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Attorney General Jim Hood and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (MDPS) are warning Mississippi consumers of an email scam in which the scammers pose as personnel from the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security (OHS) to illicitly collect money.

Mississippi residents reported receiving email notices from accounts that appear to be sent from personnel of the OHS.  However, the email was not sent by OHS personnel, and it is a fraudulent attempt to trick consumers into sending money.

The fraudulent email states, “This is to informed you that we have today received the letter Indemnity and fund transfer certificate and other documents from the Nigeria Embassy here in Washington, DC as directed, so bear in mind that we are very satisfy with the documents and in that regard you are to pay for the Homeland Security fund Transfer clearance fee of US$1,250 before we will instructed the crediting of your fund into your bank account.”

The email advises (“advice”) the consumer to send the fee “with our cashier’s information” to an individual in Bentonia, Mississippi at an incomplete address and tells the consumer “immediately the fee is made to forward the information to  give instruction for the crediting of your funds into your bank account.”

“The Mississippi Office of Homeland Security does not solicit money, period, via email, telephone or otherwise,” said MOHS Director Rusty Barnes.

The email contains several notable signs of fraud, such as poor grammar and misspelled words.  However, some of the email-based fraud attempts are extremely sophisticated and look completely legitimate.  In addition, this email seeks to fool consumers into believing it is from a legitimate or trusted source. 

Attorney General Hood and the MDPS offer these tips to protect themselves from becoming a victim of this email scam and/or similar scams:

  • Federal and State Governmental agencies, including the Mississippi OHS, do not send emails asking for money under any circumstances.
  • Consumers should not respond to any unsolicited e-mails or click on any embedded links associated with such e-mails, as these links may contain viruses or malware.
  • Once a consumer is defrauded, it is not unusual for scammers to trade a victim’s contact information with other scamming entities.
  • Never give out, send or confirm financial or other sensitive information, including your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, unless you know who you're dealing with.

If you get an email or call from someone claiming to be from or affiliated with the Mississippi OHS and they ask for money or financial information, do not respond.  Instead, call the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418 to report the email.  If you have fallen victim to a scam, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division at www.agjimhood.com. 

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