Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a scam alert following a Kentucky energy cooperative receiving a scam phishing email appearing to be from the “State Attorney’s Office.”
Kentucky businesses and nonprofits should not be deceived by an email from an unofficial address, like firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “State Attorney’s Office Complaint” that demands the business has “10 days to file a rebuttal.” Beshear said the email is a scam and not affiliated with the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General.
If a victim clicks on the link in the email, a virus is downloaded that disables the computer. The scammer then can demand money to restore the computer or steal personal and financial information.
“These scammers are impersonating the very office that is working to shut them down and stop them from stealing from our Kentucky families and businesses,” Beshear said. “In this instance, the employee caught the scam attempt and did the right thing by contacting my office before taking any action. I encourage anyone who receives this or similar emails to do the same.”
This year, Beshear’s office has received more than 20 reports of business email compromise scams from Kentuckians in Boyle, Breckinridge, Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson, Kenton, Madison, Shelby, Spencer, Taylor and Woodford counties. Losses from the scams total more than $15,000.
Beshear’s office offers these tips to help protect Kentuckians from these types of scams:
Before responding or clicking links, call the government agency or business to authenticate an email or other communication.
Pay close attention to the email address. Scammers use email addresses and domain names that mimic those of businesses and government agencies to scam victims.
Warn employees to be suspicious of out-of-the-ordinary emails, especially if the emails request confidentiality or insist quick action.
Be careful about details shared on company websites and social media accounts. Business descriptions, hierarchical information and out-of-office details are sources of information for hackers and scammers.
One of the critical missions of the Office of the Attorney General is to help Kentucky families, seniors and businesses recognize and avoid scams.
Beshear previously warned Kentuckians of a prize scam that used the Office of the Attorney General to try and scare Kentuckians into sending money over a wire transfer. The scam appeared as a legitimate letter from the Office of the Attorney General – including an official looking seal, a photo of the attorney general and a fake signature – asking for state tax payment on a $5.5 million prize the resident allegedly won from “American Family Publishers.”
To report a scam to the Office of the Attorney General, dial 888-432-9257 or file a consumer complaint online.