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CONSUMER ALERT: DON'T FALL FOR EMAIL WIRE SCAMS

LITTLE ROCK - The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division has received reports recently of emails in which the sender purports to be someone known to the recipient and is
asking for money to be wired to them.

Oftentimes, the email sender will choose names of people who are public figures or are well-known in the community in an effort to increase their chances of the recipient recognizing the name and responding.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to warn Arkansans to watch for such emails, which are being sent by con artists trying to take advantage of the recipients' generosity.

"We have heard about con artists posing as an acquaintance traveling abroad who has supposedly been robbed and is stranded and in need of cash," McDaniel said. "Never give out personal or financial
information. In fact, don't even respond to suspicious emails."

Con artists use a number of convincing schemes to get your money. One of the most prevalent of
these schemes involves the use of money wire transfers. Money transfers are preferred by scam artists because, once the transfer is initiated, the funds are available immediately for pick up anywhere in the world and are untraceable. By following these simple tips, you can avoid becoming a victim.

Tips
Always know who you're wiring money to. Be suspicious of any request that requires you to wire money to a stranger. Even if the request appears to come from or on behalf of a friend or relative, be skeptical.
Avoid wiring money to anyone outside the country. Verify "emergencies" with other family or friends before you wire money. Once the money is sent, it is virtually impossible to cancel the transaction and recover your money.
Immediately delete all suspicious emails, and never open email attachments or click on links from unknown sources.
Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them regularly. Some emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge.

For more information about consumer-related issues, or to file a complaint, visit GotYourBackArkansas.org or call the Consumer Protection Division's hotline at (800) 482-8982.

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