Ken Paxton

Scam E-mail: Your credit card has been charged...

Friday, August 22, 2003
A number of consumers have contacted our office recently to report yet another scam e-mail that is a thinly disguised attempt to steal the consumer's financial information. The subject line of the e-mail reads "Your credit card has been charged...[amount]" The e-mail then asserts that the consumer has been identified as the administrator of a pornographic Web site or a money launderer accusations that many would be anxious to deny. The e-mail says you can click on "No." If you do so, then at a minimum, you have confirmed for the scammers that your e-mail address is valid and active, which as many of you know, means you will receive many more contacts from these would-be crooks in the future. The message then solicits personal financial information, including your credit card number.

This is just the latest in a seemingly inexhaustible variety of e-mail ploys intended to trick consumers into providing crooks with the information they need to commit identity theft. I cannot say it often enough: do not provide your personal or financial information through e-mail in response to a solicitation from a person or company unknown to you.