New scam claims to be the Secretary of State trying to give you money

New scam claims to be the Secretary of State trying to give you money
BBB Logo (Source: KPLC)

(KPLC) - Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana and the Federal Trade Commission are warning consumers about a new twist on an old scam.

While it's not new that scammers pretend to be government officials, this latest scam hits close to home. The BBB is reporting scammers e-mail potential victims claiming to be Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. They say you're owed a payment from an investigation conducted by the FBI and CIA and that you'll receive an ATM card with $1.85 million on it. The email even gives you the PIN code. But, to get the ATM card, you have to send $320 and your personal information.

The BBB says no government agency will ever ask you to pay a fee to collect funds owed to you.

The BBB and the FTC offer tips on what you can do the next time you get an email or call from someone claiming to be from the government:

  • Don’t believe everything you see or hear. Scammers are great at mimicking official seals, fonts, and other details. Just because a website or email looks official does not mean it is. Even Caller ID can be faked.
  • Don’t be pressured to act immediately. Scammers typically try to make you think something is scarce or available for a limited time. They want to push you into action before you have time to think or to discuss it with a family member, friend, or financial advisor.  It’s never a good idea to make an important decision quickly.
  • Never share your personal information with someone who has contacted you unsolicited, whether it’s over the phone, by email, on social media, even at your front door. This includes banking and credit card information, your birth date, and Social Security or insurance numbers.
  • Use secure, traceable transactions when making payments for goods, services, taxes, and debts. Do not pay by wire transfer, prepaid money card, gift card, or other non-traditional payment method.

If you receive this email, you can report the scam at bbb.org/scamtracker and to ftc.gov.

Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.