Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a Scam Alert to warn Kentuckians of an email scam that relies on spoof government employee email addresses to defraud Kentuckians.
Five recent reports to Beshear’s office indicate the spoof email appears to come from a current Kentucky state government employee and solicits money in order to receive a sweepstakes prize the consumer has supposedly won.
Beshear said the content of the message might also include an official request for personal or financial information or seek payment for an outstanding debt.
“By using advanced technology to spoof actual employee email accounts, scammers are adding a new twist on impersonation scams that have traditionally been carried out over the phone,” said Beshear. “A Scam Alert was issued today to help ensure Kentuckians are aware that they should be cautious of emails that appear to be from an official government employee and legitimate email account.”
In addition to the current reports, similar instances indicate con artists are also taking on the persona of employees of the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Internal Revenue Service and a variety of local law enforcement agencies.
Beshear and his Office of Senior Protection recommend the following tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help avoid the scam:
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 said that government employees are often the subject of scammers and over the past year Beshear’s office has warned of several employee impersonation scams, including: IRS scams, jury duty scam, local sheriff’s deputy scam, federal warrant scam and a business email compromise scam.
Over the past year, more than 200 reports of impersonation scams were submitted to the Office of the Attorney General. Ten of those reports account for Kentuckians losing nearly $50,000.
Beshear said the best way to stay ahead of con artists is to be aware of new and trending scams by signing up to receive Scam Alerts from the Office of the Attorney General.
Scam Alerts provide Kentuckians a direct alert, including tips on how to avoid scams reported in Kentucky. To enroll, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.