Scammers Using State Consumer Protection Agency Name to Target People

State consumer protection officials are warning the public about a rash of scam emails that are using their agency to try and trick people.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says scam emails are making the rounds that are claiming to be from DATCP officials, and telling people that they have an invoice due. The mail then claims that the recipient needs to click a link and pay that invoice.

Spokesperson Jerad Albrecht says this is something that happens to their agency every so often. “We talk about imposter scams a lot, where scammers will use the name or contact information from a major company or government agency to add legitimacy to their ploy.”

Versions of the email currently circulating will claim to be from agency officials, but the email address actually sending those mails will be from some random website not affiliated with the state. “And if they’re getting any kind of email that claims to come from our agency, especially if they’re mentioning an invoice and offering you a link to click, we don’t want you to do that,” says Albrecht. Those links simply open you up to losing your personal information or installing malware on your computer.

“If we are going to contact you, it’s going to be by mail, not by email.”

If you get one of these emails, Albrecht says you should simply delete it and move on. If you have concerns, you can always contact the state’s consumer protection help line at (800) 422-7128.