LANSING -– Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today released a new consumer alert after several Michigan businesses reported receiving a suspicious email from “The Office of The Attorney General.”
The email subject reads, “The Office of The Attorney General Complaint”, attached to the email is a complaint that “requires” a response. Recipients are then prompted to “view” the complaint by clicking the included link. This link, when clicked, installs malware which steals confidential information from individual computers.
“It is concerning when someone purports to be another entity to scam hardworking business owners,” said 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.”
The Department of Attorney General advises that recipients delete the email. If recipients open the email, they should simply delete it—without opening any attachment or clicking on any link. If the attachment is opened, recipients should assume they have 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.
The email received by businesses is similar to the one below:
From: The Office of The Attorney General [email@example.com] Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2016 3:46 PM To: * * * Subject: The Office of The Attorney General Complaint
Dear Business Owner:
A complaint has been filed against your Business. Enclosed is a copy of the complaint which requires your response. You have 10 days to file a rebuttal if you so desire. You may view the complaint at the link below.
complaint41163.pdf Rebuttals should not exceed 25 pages and may refer to any additional documents or exhibits that are available on request.
The Office of The Attorney General cannot render legal advice nor can The Office of The Attorney General represent individuals or intervene on their behalf in any civil or criminal matter.
Please review the enclosed complaint. If filing a rebuttal please do so during the specified time frame.
The Office of The Attorney General
Protect Against Email Scams
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.
For more information on various government imposter schemes, see the Attorney General’s Government Imposter Scams Consumer Alert.
If a business is concerned about any email purporting to be from the Michigan Attorney General, do not open it and instead call the Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-765-8388.