FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS—An email scam that tugs at the heartstrings of unsuspecting Mississippians is circulating the state, warns Attorney General Jim Hood. The email claims to be raising money to help victims of the recent earthquake in China.
?The Federal Bureau of Investigation has already sent out one warning but we are getting reports into our Consumer Protection Division so we wanted to reiterate that folks need to be cautious when they get a solicitation of any type by email,? said Attorney General Jim Hood.
Before giving to any cause, you should consider the following:
? Do not respond to any unsolicited (SPAM) e-mail.
? Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as officials soliciting via e-mail for donations.
? Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
? Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
? To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to reputable organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
? Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization’s website rather than following an alleged link to the site.
? Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which also may assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization.
? Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: providing such information may compromise your identity and open you to identity theft.
?Unfortunately, there are people who use disasters, such as the China earthquake for their own greedy purposes,? said Attorney General Hood. ?Mississippians are so charitable, and they make desirable targets for these con-artists. Our office just wants to make sure that donations from our giving citizens go to help out those in need, rather than to help out greedy criminals.?
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam, call the Office of the Attorney General at 601-359-3880.