When news happens, scammers often see an opportunity to make a quick buck.
Who Is It Targeting: Tobacco users
What Is It: A phishing scam that uses online ads, emailed messages
What Are They After: Following any newsworthy event, scammers will try to play off the publicity surrounding it in order to lure in their victims. The Kentucky attorney general has issued a warning following several reports to his office from recipients of “Tobacco Settlement” emails.
There has, in fact, been a settlement reached that includes compensation for tobacco users, but the money is not paid out to individual citizens. Rather, it’s earmarked for states to offset increased medical costs, raise awareness and provide addiction education, and other related services. Scammers are hoping the public doesn’t know that, only that a settlement was agreed upon.
How Can You Avoid It:
- You will never receive free money from an email or online ad you clicked.
- If you were entitled to legal compensation, appropriate methods of reaching you would be used.
- Never give your personal information, bank account data, or any money to someone who contacts you.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.