(Phoenix, Ariz. – June 8, 2005) Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned Arizona retirees that a public school district in southern Arizona has been receiving unsolicited emails seeking personal information from Arizona State Retirement System members for the purpose of calculating individual pension benefits.
“This could be a classic phishing scam,” Goddard said. “The retirement system is not revising its benefit formula, and I am concerned residents may become victims of identity theft if they answer these emails.”
The email requests the following information:
- date of birth
- years of service
- salary information
Recipients were asked to send the above information and more to email@example.com. Arizona State Retirement System officials sent an email to employers this week requesting that they block this email and have requested an investigation into this matter.
Goddard provided the following tips for Arizona consumers regarding unsolicited email messages:
- Do not give your personal information in response to emails claiming to be from bank, credit card company or internet service provider. These emails are from con artists. Legitimate financial institutions like the ASRS will never ask for this information in email.
- Always use caution when opening unsolicited emails.
- Avoid sending personal information over the Internet.
- Carefully review your bank and credit card statements monthly.
- Ask your credit card company to stop sending blank checks with your statements.
- Order a free copy of your credit report annually and check it carefully. You can order your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Remove your name from mailing lists generated by telemarketers. Contact the Direct Marketing Association at www.dmaconsumers.org.
If you feel you have been a victim of ID theft, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Consumer Information and Complaints Line:
- In Phoenix: 602.542.5763
- In Tucson: 520.628.6504
- Outside Maricopa and Pima counties: 1.800.352.8431