Ken Paxton
Consumer Protection

Scam E-mails

New attempts to steal consumers' financial information continue to surface. Consumers frquently receive e-mails requesting personal financial information that appear to be from reputable companies, but are not. Don't be fooled! Legitimate companies work hard to provide security and privacy so that you can continue to enjoy the convenience of doing business on-line. They do NOT contact customers and solicit "updates" to their financial and personal information. If you receive a communication from anyone, even a person who claims to represent a company with which you do business, requesting your personal and financial information, STOP. Contact the company yourself by telephone do not use links or mailers provided in the e-mail you have received. The company will probably want you to forward the message you received to their security department. No legitimate business will contact you to ask for personal or financial information. Read more on our ID Theft page and on our website

ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.

Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.