AG Gansler Warns Consumers About Scam Spoofing OAG Phone Number
Phony caller ID number shows call originates from Attorney General's office
Baltimore, MD (December 13, 2013) - In his ongoing effort to protect consumers, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is alerting Marylanders about scammers' latest efforts to steal bank account numbers and other personal identifying information that can then be used for illicit purposes. The scammers are able to mask the number they are calling from, preventing recipients from learning the source of the call. Consumers who attempt to call back the number from which the call originated, or retrieve it through caller ID, are directed to the Mediation Unit Hotline for the Maryland Attorney General's office (410-528-8662). This practice is known as caller ID spoofing.
"This scam is particularly deceitful and hits too close to home as our office would never call consumers and ask for their bank account information," said Attorney General Gansler. "It's always a good rule of thumb to be vigilant with your personal information so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands."
Any outgoing call actually placed from the Attorney General's central office would not show up on caller ID as 410-528-8662. It would display a different number.
Attorney General Gansler's Consumer Protection Division has also heard from several consumers who have received a call from a debt collector who claimed to be calling on behalf of the Attorney General's office. This, too, is a scam, as the Attorney General's office does not employ any debt collectors, and does not solicit consumers.
Marylanders who receive an unsolicited phone call from any individual or business should exercise caution and should not provide any personal information unless the caller is known and reputable. Even then, consumers should ask why the information is needed and what it will be used for.
Consumers with questions about how to handle such inquiries or those who think they have been the victim of a scam should contact the Consumer Protection Division at 410-528-8662 or toll free at 888-742-0023. Consumers can file a complaint at http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/complaint.htm or by mailing a hard copy of the complaint form found online, along with any supporting documents, to 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202