Beware of Spam Emails Claiming to Originate from the Texas Attorney General, Threatening Arrest

AUSTIN February 24, 2015 – A malicious new spam email featuring Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s name and an arrest threat has recently hit inboxes statewide.

Email text

The fraudulent email message, which may include the subject line, “FINAL NOTICE”, is given the false appearance of legitimacy because it is adorned with the distinctive online logo of U.S. district courts. The email’s opening text informs the resident of “a PENDING law ACTION against your name and your Social Security Number.” The email then cautions: “Should you ignore this communiqué, we WILL advice our CLIENT to PROCEED further with the LEGAL ACTION AGAINST you.” The bogus paragraph claims to be from “KEN PAXTON” with the “STATE ATTORNEY OFFICE.”

The email also contains a security alert warning that an arrest warrant has been issued for the resident due to his or her alleged crimes such as “violation of federal banking regulations,” “collateral check fraud,” and “theft by deception.” After alarming the resident about the prospect of a warrant being issued for his or her arrest, the email states the prison sentence and fine the resident allegedly faces – then encourages the resident to apply for an “out of court resolvement option … to submit the amount which you owe in full.” The last sentence tells the resident, “By requesting an Offer in Compromise, But is you are failed to do that then we shall start the process of pressing those charges against you.” The message concludes with the signature of a purported judge and a bogus phone number for “KEN PAXTON.”

Red flags

The email’s stumbling vocabulary, sentences with words in all capital letters, and rambling sentences that make no sense are red flags that is a scam. Texans should not respond to the sender or call any telephone numbers that appear within the message.

As with many ploys to obtain individuals’ personal information, it is likely that many of these imposters are actually thousands of miles away – often in other countries and out of reach of U.S. law enforcement. This impersonation ploy is particularly effective because it causes victims to react immediately out of fear that they are facing criminal action by the Attorney General’s Office, rather than taking the time to consider the claims being made and information being requested.

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