Consumer News

Consumer Alert: Phone scam in Topeka area claiming to be from AG office

Release Date: May 13, 2015

TOPEKA – (May 13, 2015) – Fraudulent calls are being made to Topekans claiming to be from “Derek Schmidt’s Office” asking consumers to wire money, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

 The attorney general’s office has been made aware of phone calls being made impersonating attorney general office staff, and advises Kansans that these are fraudulent. The calls pretending to be from the attorney general’s office falsely “confirm” that previous false promises sent to the consumer are legitimate. The false calls then go on to “verify” the claim that the consumer has won a prize and “confirms” that the consumer should wire payment immediately through Western Union in order to receive a “surprise package.” The caller’s phone number is showing up on caller ID as “State of Kansas.”

 For example, one such call falsely asked a Kansan to wire $1,200 to pay “taxes” due in order to receive the “surprise package.”

 “These phone calls are a pure scam,” Schmidt said. “Anyone who receives these calls should hang up immediately. Under no circumstance does our office call consumers telling them that they should pay money to receive prizes.”

 Emails or calls requesting that money be wired are scams. The following tips can help protect you from these types of scams:

  • You do not have to pay for something you have won (e.g., taxes, handling charges or custom clearance fees).
  • Do not give your credit card or bank account number to a caller you do not know; they generally ask for the routing number off your check; if given these numbers, this person will have access to your checking account.
  • Beware of callers requesting money to be sent via wire service or overnight courier (this is a quick, easy and anonymous way for scam artists to get the money and run, as well as avoid mail fraud). Once money is wired, it is nearly impossible to get back.
  • The only legal lottery a consumer may participate in, within the State of Kansas, is the state‑run Kansas Lottery.

 Kansans should report these scams to the attorney general’s office by calling (800) 432-2310 or on the attorney general’s consumer protection website at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.

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