AG's office warns of phone background check e-mails

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 8, 2014

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning consumers about a new scam that tries to lure in victims through an e-mail that says the recipient has been the subject of a background check.

The message says by clicking on the link contained within the message, the recipient will have the opportunity to review the details of the background check.

“This is another example of how scammers will prey on a person’s natural curiosity,” Morrisey said in a press release. “If a person receives an e-mail message telling them a background check has been done in their name, he or she may naturally want to see who performed the check.

"Our best advice is to not open any email from people you don’t know, and never click on links in the email.”

Morrisey said clicking on links included in unfamiliar or unsolicited emails can unleash a host of issues.

“If the link goes to a fraudulent site, clicking on it can enable malware to be downloaded on to your computer. The malware is designed to steal your personal information. In other cases, the link may direct you to a website that asks you to give the 'company' personal information so you can get details about the person who allegedly requested the background check,” Morrisey said. “Either way, it’s best to ignore those emails and delete them.”

Consumers should remember a few things if they receive unsolicited emails:

* Legitimate companies who perform background checks are not going to notify you when one is performed.

* Clicking on a link in an unsolicited message is almost never a good idea. Typically, those links contain programs that will download to your computer without your knowledge or permission, and can turn your e-mail program into one that sends spam messages automatically.

* Never provide your personal or financial information to anybody online or over the telephone.

* Always make sure your computer’s virus protection and firewall are up-to-date.

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