New email scam targeting Michigan businesses

Posted: 12:55 PM, Aug 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-04 09:52:20-04

Several Michigan businesses have reported that they are receiving an email claiming to be from the Office of the Attorney General, but this is actually a scam to get information, reports the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

The subject of the email reads, “The Office of the Attorney General Complaint,” and attached to the email is a complaint that requires a response, states a press release from the office. The recipients are then prompted to view the complaint by clicking a link included in the email. This link, however, when clicked installs malware which steals confidential information from the computers.

“It is concerning when someone purports to be another entity to scam hardworking business owners,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. “It is especially concerning when it claims to be from my office, which is tasked with consumer protection. I encourage anyone who receives this suspicious email to delete it and contact my office.”

Schuette says in a statement that recipients of this email should delete the email without opening any attachments or clicking on the link. If the attachment has been opened, recipients should assume they have the malware and seek technical assistance.

The grammatical errors, generic reference to “The Office of The Attorney General,” and the sender’s email address are clues to the bogus nature of this email.  Attorney General Schuette cautions, however, to remain vigilant. 

Here are some ways to protect yourself against email scams from the Attorney General’s Office:

  • Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any file from emails you receive, regardless who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer’s security.
  • Install protective anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software, and keep them up-to-date. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge.
  • Never send money to someone you do not know. Criminals often will pressure consumers into sending money by wire or providing numbers from prepaid cards.
  • Never give someone who calls your personal or financial information. As a rule of thumb, never give out your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number unless you are positive you know who is on the other end.
  • Always be suspicious of someone calling and asking for money. Scammers will often use official-sounding names, agency names, or position titles to make you trust them. No legitimate government official will ever ask you to send money to collect a prize, nor will a government official call to collect a debt.
  • If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply, and do not open any attachment or click on any link in the message. Legitimate companies don’t ask for this information by email.
  • Don’t email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.