Scammers sending phony "State Attorney General" e-mails to area businesses

Posted at 4:37 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 18:37:28-05

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is once again warning business owners to be on the lookout for e-mails sent by scammers posing as representatives of his office.

The e-mails indicate they were sent by “The Office of the State Attorney General” and are generically addressed to “Business Owner.” They inform recipients a complaint has been filed against their business, Wasden said. The e-mails are similar to those that prompted an alert from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division on July 8 of this year.

The latest messages also include a link that promises to take recipients to a document that can be used to respond to the complaint. But the link is actually a zip file that installs a computer virus used to obtain sensitive information that could lead to identity theft and fraud.

“Unfortunately, these scammers are persistent,” Wasden said. “This is another example of fraudulent people pretending to be government officials in an effort to dupe consumers. As I’ve stated before, my office will never send unsolicited e-mails about complaints.”

A business owner notified the Attorney General’s Office of the scam Tuesday afternoon. At the same time, officials with the Idaho State Bar also notified Wasden’s office.

Consumers are encouraged not to open these e-mails or click on any links. Wasden said consumers should delete the e-mails and contact his office to report the scam.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division can be reached at 334-2424 or 1–800–432–3545.