When protecting citizens from Internet scams, officials say prevention is the key.
It’s very difficult to recover from a phishing scam. The Wisconsin Justice Department stresses the importance of preventing yourself from getting duped in the first place. State Attorney General JB Van Hollen urges consumers to be vigilant and guarded when reading emails and surfing the Internet.
“People should know that if bad things do happen with Department of Justice and prosecutors around the state will vigorously go after identity thieves, but we’ll likely never be able to make people whole again so, protecting themselves through vigilance is absolutely imperative because we can make the bad guys pay but that never makes the innocent victims whole again.”
Van Hollen says the criminal justice system can investigate and prosecute phishing scammers, but prevention is the best way to avoid what could be a lifetime of stress.
“These are pretty high-tech scams.”
Cyber criminals use scare tactics to steal an unsuspecting consumer’s identity. Van Hollen warns not to give out any personal information unless you initiated the communication. Simply delete any suspicious emails, and you can report the scam to the state Consumer Protection Department. 800-422-7128.