AG Warns about Phone Scams

Mississippi's attorney general is warning citizens about bogus phone scams that constantly circulate in new ways.

“New and old scams arise daily by cons and cheats who spend all of their time finding new ways to take advantage of our citizens,” said Attorney General Jim Hood in a news release. “Our Consumer Protection Division makes a diligent effort to educate the public as we discover them.”

The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and several other Mississippi power suppliers have received reports of consumers receiving phone calls from cons who are acting as representatives from their local power companies stating the customers’ electricity will be terminated due to non-payment.

A recent version of this scam was traced by investigators of the Attorney General’s Office to numbers from the Philippines.

“Personal information should never, ever be shared over the phone, mail or Internet, no matter who the caller claims to be,” said Hood.

Hood suggested some tips to avoid these scams:

· Don’t be fooled by caller ID numbers. Scammers can “spoof” numbers and appear to be calling from inside the United States when in fact they are not.

· Be suspicious of anyone who is vague in identifying themselves on the phone or who presses you to immediately send money.

· Be suspicious of anyone who calls or emails unexpectedly and wants you to wire money–especially out of the country.

· Educate yourself and your family on how the scam works.

· If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company’s correct Web address. In any case, don’t cut and paste the link in the message.

Anyone who thinks they have been victimized by these or any other scams may call the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-281-4418 or visit the attorney general's website to fill out a complaint form. Click the attached link.