"Phishing" emails continue to target Mississippi consumers - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

"Phishing" emails continue to target Mississippi consumers

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

Mississippi Attorney General, Jim Hood is urging Mississippi consumers to use caution when receiving an email or text message that initially looks like legitimate correspondence from a bank or business. 

The reminder comes at the same time some consumers were targets of an email that claimed to be from a Memphis based financial institution that was an attempt by scammers to gain access to banking information.

The AG's office says criminals continually look for new ways to commit identity theft and fraud.

According to a press release from the AG's office, scammers, in this latest email ruse, stole company letterhead and used language in the email that makes it appear that the customer is being contacted by the institution.

However, a closer look shows that the email is illegitimate.

This practice is commonly called phishing.

Hood says consumers should reach out to their banks or credit unions directly to double check the validity of unsolicited emails.

Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Never provide personal or financial information in response to any unsolicited email or text. In fact, it is best to delete those solicitations and not respond.
  • Keep in mind that financial institutions themselves will not seek to “verify” such information as bank account or credit card numbers since that particular information is generated and maintained by the institution itself.
  • Do not open links or attachments on any unsolicited emails or text messages that request personal, financial or account information.  It is likely that such links and attachments lead to viruses and malware designed to steal data.
  • Always be suspicious of anyone that emails or sends a text message and asks for money to be wired or placed on a prepaid debit card. Chances are, those are scammers, especially if they’re located outside the United States.

Consumers who have provided information in response to a phishing scam should contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office at (800)281-4418.

For more information about how you can guard against identity theft and scams, visit the Attorney General's website

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