Consumer Alert: Beware of scammers claiming to represent state government agencies

Friday, September 16, 2022

Our office has received reports of telephone scams in which callers claim to represent the North Carolina Department of Justice and other government agencies and officials. Remember: State government officials will not contact you by text or phone to threaten you with arrest or ask for your personal information.

To avoid falling victim to these scams, take the following precautions:

  • Do not respond to text messages from unknown numbers who claim to represent the North Carolina Department of Justice or any other government agency.
  • Do not send money or disclose personal information to unknown contacts – even if they say they represent the government. If you are unsure whether someone is a legitimate government official, hang up and contact the government agency directly using a number listed on their website.
  • Beware of unknown callers claiming to represent a professional licensing board. If an unknown person contacts you about your professional license, hang up, find the council’s contact details, and then contact the competent authority yourself.
  • Remember that if you are asked to pay with a gift card, it is still a scam.
  • Look for red flags in messages from unknown numbers or email addresses. Spelling or grammatical errors, an email that does not match an agency’s government URL, vague subject lines, or pressure for immediate payment can be indicators that a message is a scam.

If you receive one of these messages or believe you have been scammed, contact the Consumer Protection Division of our office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or complain online.

Ashley C. Reynolds