[r32] Beware the Scammers (3/9/2009)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Start Date: 3/9/2009 All Day
End Date: 3/9/2009
ECONOMIC STIMULUS SCAM: With all the news about the federal stimulus package, it is not a surprise some people are using the package as the basis for a scam.

This scam, using e-mail and the Internet, tries to convince people they can qualify for part of federal government's stimulus package. The scammers ask, of course, for important confidential information, such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers.

In one scam, people are asked for bank account information so that their shjare of the stimulus package can be directly deposited in their bank accounts.

Another scam asks people for confidential personal information to verify their status as a recipient of stimulus money.

A third scam tells people to click on a Web link that then takes them to a Web site with a malicious code that can steal their financial and personal information.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has some tips for avoiding Internet scams:

·         Never click on links or open e-mail attachments from people you do not know .

·         If the e-mail offers jobs, contact the company's human resources department to ensure job openings.

·         Do not click on links contained within a spam e-mail. Instead log on to the official Web site.

·         Do not disclose personal information in e-mail forms.

·         Check your credit card bills and bank statements for unauthorized charges monthly.

JURY DUTY SCAM: Jury duty is something we take seriously, and some people are trying to use that dedication for their own improper use.

Here's a scam that's making the rounds:

A caller will claim to be a "jury coordinator" and ask why you have not shown up for jury duty and explain that there is an arrest warrant posted for you.

When you explain that you have never been called for jury duty, the face jury coordinator says he can cancel the arrest warrant, but first you must give him some confidential information, such as your full name, your Social Security number and date of birth. Sometimes, they even ask for credit card numbers.

Do not give the information. It is a scam that has been around for a few years, but it apparently is making the rounds again.

For more information about scams and how to protect yourself, visit www.indianaconsumer.com, a service of the attorney general's office.

And always remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.