May 7, 2020
CONSUMER ALERT: AG Paxton Warns of Scammers Impersonating Government Entities
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today warned Texans that scammers have been spotted posing as state agencies to solicit money from hardworking consumers. There are variations of this scam, such as local law enforcement contacting you with a warrant, agencies asking for donations, back taxes or fines, or asking for your personal information to either confirm innocence or receive a payment. Government agencies do not email or call individuals with financial solicitations. Consumers are advised to keep their personal information private and, if contacted by someone claiming to represent a government agency, go to its official website and find a legitimate phone number to confirm.
“All Texans should be aware of unsolicited calls and emails from scammers impersonating leaders in their government. This is a dirty trick fraudsters are using to make a quick buck at the expense of hardworking Texans,” said Attorney General Paxton. “My office has a long history of pursuing fraudsters who attempt to deceive Texans, and we stand ready to assist anyone harmed by these scams and schemes.”
When contacted via phone or email by someone purporting to be from a government agency, practice these steps to beat an imposter scam:
Do not wire money, confirm financial or personal information, including bank account, credit card, or Social Security numbers. Do not pay for a prize. If you enter and win a legitimate sweepstakes, you do not have to pay insurance, taxes, or shipping charges to collect your prize. Do not trust a name or phone number. Scammers often use fake names and phone numbers to disguise their identity and area code.Put your number on the Texas Do Not Call Registry and the National Do Not Call Registry. In November 2019, Attorney General Paxton warned Texans of scammers attempting to obtain personal and financial information by falsely claiming to be members of the Office of the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services Division.
Report suspected fraud to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling toll-free 1-800-621-0508 or by filing an online complaint at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection/file-consumer-complaint.