Consumer Column

Attorney General Jeff Landry Urges Consumers to Be Wary of Phishing Attacks

BATON ROUGE, LA – With an increase in reports of phishing attacks, Attorney General Jeff Landry is alerting Louisiana citizens about Internet scammers mimicking a business to trick consumers into giving out their bank and credit card account numbers.

“Phishing attacks can occur through multiple sources including text messages, email, and social media. Scammers send bogus messages in hopes of convincing recipients to send money or to open attachments and hyperlinks to fake websites,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry. “Consumers should not open these attachments or click these links and immediately delete these emails. An unsolicited message like this is almost always a scam.”

Attorney General Jeff Landry said scammers send legitimate-looking, fake emails designed to trick recipients into entering personal information or installing malware – malicious software used to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, gain access to private computer systems, or display unwanted advertising.

Attorney General Landry advises consumers to delete unexpected or unsolicited messages and offers the following tips if you have already opened the suspicious attachment or hyperlink and believe you may have been infected with malware or a virus:

  • Stop shopping, banking, and doing other online activities that involve usernames, passwords, or other sensitive information.
  • Update your security software then run it to scan your computer for viruses and spyware. Delete anything identified as a problem. You may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
  • If your computer is covered by a warranty that offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer.
  • If you are unable to solve the problem on your own, consider hiring a company — some are affiliated with retail stores — that offers tech support on the phone, online, at a retail store, or in your home.
To report a scam or sign up for consumer alerts, call Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.
 
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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.