|July 22, 2010
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today issued a consumer advisory warning Floridians about a "phishing" scam that attempts to victimize people affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. A consumer recently reported to the Attorney General's Office that she received an email from someone purporting to be Tony Hayward, the CEO of BP. The email stated that those who replied back to the email address listed with their personal information would be the recipient of $500,000 in grant funding from BP. Consumers are urged not to comply with this request and should not give out any personal information to unfamiliar sources.
“Scammers and con artists are brazenly trying to capitalize on Floridians who have been affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster,” said Attorney General McCollum. “Consumers should be on high alert and should report suspicious emails such as this one to my office immediately.”
One of the more common forms of computer-related identity theft, “phishing” occurs when a third party pretends to be a reputable contact and convinces consumers to provide their personal identification information, which usually leads to identity theft. The email purporting to be from Mr. Hayward appears to have originated in Nigeria and has been referred to the United States Postal Inspection Service for investigation.
Consumers can report phishing and other scams to the Attorney General's Office by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or by filing a complaint online at http://www.myfloridalegal.com. Information on the Deepwater Horizon disaster can be found online at http://www.myfloridalegal.com/deepwaterhorizon.