Consumer Column

Attorney General Jeff Landry Issues Warning of Government Scams

BATON ROUGE, LA - Attorney General Jeff Landry is warning Louisiana consumers of potential callers posing as federal agents in an attempt to obtain personal information.

“These types of scammers are shameless criminals who will go to great lengths to get your information,” said General Landry. “It is important to remember that legitimate officials from government agencies like the IRS will never call asking for personal information.”

If a caller asks for detailed personal information, such as social security number or bank account info – do not comply. Scam callers may use high-pressure tactics, such as saying the money is necessary to help a family member in danger; but consumers should know this is actually an attempt to steal or sell personal information.

Attorney General Jeff Landry issued the following tips to help recognize fraudulent calls:

• Federal agencies will typically contact you by U.S. Mail first, not by phone or email.
• Federal agencies will not demand personal information over the phone.
• The IRS will not require a specific payment method such as a MoneyPak card or wire transfer.

“Scam callers have gotten creative in their crimes and are now even using phones from the 202 Washington, DC area code in order to make the federal agency shtick more believable," added General Landry. "However, no matter what tricks they use – keep your guard up and report the call,” said General Landry.

• If you suspect a caller is a scam, you should:
• Resist the pressure to act quickly.
• Hang up and do not give out any personal and financial information or wire money.
• Contact your local law enforcement and file a consumer complaint with Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Section at 1-800-351-4889.

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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.