New phishing scam masquerades as AOL message

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 7:33 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 7:33 a.m.

A new phishing scam claims residents should verify billing and account information for a well-known Internet service provider, the Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commission is warning.

The e-mails claim to come from the “AOL Safety and Security Team” and say if the person doesn’t provide the required information their accounts will be closed. However, consumer fraud investigators say America Online is reporting the e-mails are fake and that the company does not contact customers and ask for personal information by e-mail.

Investigators are concerned this phishing scam may impact more people than usual because AOL is a well-known company.

“The bottom line is people should never provide personal and financial information online, over the phone or through the mail unless they have initiated the contact and are certain they are dealing with a legitimate organization,” said Charles Bronson, the state’s Agriculture and Consumer Services commissioner.

To report suspicious activity or file a complaint, contact the department’s consumer hotline at 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352), outside of Florida (850) 488-2221 or 1-800-FLAYUDA (1-800-352-9832) for Spanish. Visit online at for additional consumer information.

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