Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
May 1 2006

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers to watch out for callers who claim you have won a voucher for free gasoline then ask for a checking account number.

“Telemarketing cons are promising free gasoline, a particularly attractive incentive given current prices at the pump,” McKenna said. “But consumers should not be tempted by these offers, which are clearly a ploy to obtain bank account information that could be used to steal money or commit identity theft.”

Several consumers in the Seattle area reported receiving suspicious calls this week from telemarketers who asked them to provide their checking account number. The consumers did not provide any personal information.

“Never provide personal information to an unknown caller,” McKenna said. “Legitimate businesses will not ask for account information over the phone or by e-mail.”

Consumers can report suspicious phone calls to the Attorney General’s Office by calling (800) 551-4636 or filing a complaint online at www.atg.wa.gov.

Consumers can reduce unwanted telemarketing calls from businesses by registering their phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry online at https://www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.

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Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, (206) 464-6432, kalexander@atg.wa.gov