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September 7, 1999

Be Aware Of Computer Billing Scams

TALLAHASSEE, FL (SafetyAlerts) - Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Bob Crawford today cautioned computer users to be alert for fraudulent billing schemes relating to Internet service providers.

The Department's Division of Consumer Services has received reports of computer users getting messages that appear to be from their Internet service provider concerning billing statements. The message often requests the recipient's name, address and credit card number.

While the message appears legitimate, it is actually an effort by con artists to obtain an individual's credit card number for fraudulent purposes. To avoid any problems, a computer user should delete the message, sign-off the Internet, and then sign-on again. If there is any question about the need for personal information, a user should contact their service provider.

"This is another scheme by con artists to obtain a credit card number that can be used for unauthorized purchases," Crawford said. "Computer users, like all consumers, should closely guard their credit card number and reveal it only for what they are certain are legitimate purposes."

For consumer information, call the Department's hotline - 1-800 HELP FLA (1-800-435-7352).


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