Beware of Spam E-mails Claiming to Originate from the Office of the Attorney General
A brazen, new spam e-mail featuring Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s photograph and the Office of the Attorney General’s Web page banner has recently hit inboxes statewide. |
The fraudulent e-mail message, which may include the subject line, “ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS,” is given the false appearance of legitimacy because it is adorned with the agency’s distinctive online logo and an image of Attorney General Abbott. In the e-mail text addressing the recipient by name, a vague security alert warns about a “transaction with the United Nations.” The entire e-mail reads:
Attn: [Recipient Name],
Savvy e-mail users have increasingly learned to identify and delete fraudulent e-mails that falsely appear to originate from legitimate banks, credit card companies and government agencies. Recipients should not respond to the sender or click on any Web links that may appear within the message. Activating Web links that appear in unexpected e-mails may direct users to fraudulent Web sites or allow identity thieves to capture users’ sensitive personal information.
ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.
Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.