AG warns about Minot flood scams

BISMARCK – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is warning flood victims to be wary of a text message scam.
Officials at the Minot disaster recovery center say numerous individuals have reported receiving  a suspicious text message, Stenehjem said in a news release. 
The messages, which are being sent to telephone prefixes assigned to the Minot area, suggest that if the recipient’s home or business was damaged by flood, the recipient can avoid delays and be placed immediately on a list simply by texting “flood” back to the sender. If the receipt is not a flood victim, the instruction is to reply with a text stating “no.”
“The most important thing to remember is to not respond to these text messages,” Stenehjem said in a statement. “In past text message scams, it appears any response goes to a server and the unsuspecting victims are automatically registered for various offers they were not aware of and did not agree to, as well as expensive premium text messaging subscriptions.”
The scam artists ”spoofed” a legitimate telephone number belonging to a Minot resident, resulting in angry calls to the legitimate owner of the phone number. This person did not send the bogus text messages, Stenehjem said in the news release.
He warned flood victims to be wary of any scams, including fake inspectors of flood-damaged homes. 
Parrell Grossman, director of the Consumer Protection Division, expects to see scam artists continuing to take advantage of flood recovery efforts across the state. He said his staff will be “vigilantly watching” for new scams and will alert the public.
Anyone receiving a suspicious flood-related text message, email or telephone call can contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-472-2600.

11 thoughts on “AG warns about Minot flood scams

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