Attorney General’s Consumer Alert (11/10)

POSTED AS A COMMUNITY SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

State of New Mexico
Office of Attorney General
Gary K. King

CONSUMER ADVISORY
Monday, November 1, 2010

Contact: Phil Sisneros 505-827-6792    Lynn Southard 505-222-9048

Scams & Frauds…October
The following is a summary of some of the scams and frauds reported to New Mexico Attorney General Gary King’s Office in October 2010.
PHISHING, NIGERIAN, and LOTTERY :

State consumers continue to report receiving emails asking for detailed personal information to claim various prizes such as sweepstakes and lottery winnings.  Requests can include some combination of the following:  full name; address; gender; marital status; occupation; email address; home, cell/fax number; nationality; credit card or social security number.

Reported in October to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, these scams have come to consumers via email, U.S. mail, and by phone (cell, home, or business):


OCTOBER SEPTEMBER AUGUST
Phishing
170
153 136
Nigerian
85
35 29
Lottery
31
23
23



Consumers should not share personal information, i.e., their credit report, social security or credit card numbers with anyone unless the consumer has initiated the discussion.


PHISHING SCAM:

Phishing expeditions were on the rise in New Mexico during the month of October.  The AG’s Office received 170 emails from consumers who had phishing email messages sent to their email In-boxes requesting confirmation of confidential information such as bank account number, ATM password, credit card number, or social security number. Had these consumers shared their private information, they could have become victims of identity theft or had their bank accounts depleted.

An example of one such fraudulent email is below:


—–Original Message—–
From: FedEx [mailto:fedex.ng@fedex.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2010 3:06 AM
Subject: Re: Your Package Status

Dear Customer,

On behalf of the entire staff of Fed-Ex, this email is coming to you as a
reminder concerning your package that was deposited with our outlet, the
content of the parcel after scanning indicated classified
documents/credentials and a signed $500,000 certified cheque.

The package has been registered and the dispatch of your package will
commence upon our receipt of the cargo fee US$150 only from you, no other
fees will be required for prompt delivery to your address.

You are advised to make payment through Western Union or Money Gram
through our Account officer Mrs. OLA AMOS

The cargo fee of $150 is to be sent via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER
through our accounting officer with the recipient information below:

Receiver Name: OLA AMOS

Receiver Address: #107 Airport Road, Abuja FCT – Nigeria

Amount To Send: US $ 150

Text Question: Favorite Colour

Text Answer: White

You are required to fill and send the necessary payment details as listed
below to the account officer for confirmation through her e-mail address:
fedex_oamos@yahoo.co.jp

Sender’s First Name: _______________________

Sender’s Last Name: _______________________

 

Sender’s Address: #_____________________________

Money Transfer Control Number [MTCN]: _____________________

Consumers who receive emails similar to this should not share any personal or private information, and can report the scam to New Mexico Attorney General Gary King’s Office atcommunications@nmag.gov.



OBAMA FOUNDATION/SCAM VICTIMS SCAM:

A University of New Mexico associate professor received a phishing scam in her email In-box this month alerting her to the compensation she would receive for being a scam victim. Chances are the email below is the first in a string of emails she would receive about her reward.


From: Obama’s Foundation <studiobregante.sestrilevante@fastwebnet.it>
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2010 14:37:40 +0200 (CEST)
Subject:
You are listed and approved for the $900,000USD payment as one of the scammed vi
ctims to be paid,Denis Adams:kindly contact with your full info

As a habit, scammers use well known names and places to grab the attention of the recipient and add validity.  Unsolicited emails offering a large amounts of money for any reason should be a red flagto consumers.


COUNTERFEIT CHECK SCAMS:
Examples of fake checks and money orders received in New Mexico can be viewed on the AG’s Counterfeit Check Database at http://www.nmag.gov/checkscams/default.aspx
 


The database is updated regularly to assist consumers who may be tempted to cash a check from an unknown source. Consumers can browse through the database to determine if the check they are holding is a fake check. 

It is important not to cash a counterfeit check; once the check is found to be counterfeit, the amount of the check will be owed to the financial institution that cashed it.

 

REMINDERS:
1. Intake hours for walk-in consumer complaints are Monday through Friday 10:00 AM-3:00 PM.  Appointments can be set by calling 1-800-678-1508.
2. Consumer complaint forms can be picked up at all three NMAGO’s as well as online at http://www.nmag.gov/office/Divisions/CP/complaint.aspx

To subscribe to the Attorney General’s SCAM ALERTS, log on to: http://www.nmag.gov/Articles/scamalerts.aspx

###


Lynn Southard
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of New Mexico Attorney General
Gary K. King
111 Lomas Blvd NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505 222-9048 office
505 231-4731 cell
Email: lsouthard@nmag.gov