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AG Nessel, LARA Warn Licensees of Imposter Scams
October 21, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Director Orlene Hawks today alerted professionals licensed by the State of Michigan to beware of scam artists impersonating state officials in an effort to obtain personal information, or even money, from a licensee.
Nessel is also reissuing her Imposter Scams Consumer Alert, warning the public about bad actors who use legitimate government references and the threat of government action to trick individuals into taking action that facilitates theft.
The warning comes after officials became aware of licensees being targeted recently and told their license was at risk if they did not comply with demands, including a payment to maintain their license with the state.
"Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the lengths bad actors will go to scam an unsuspecting person - in this case a licensed professional - to obtain personal information or money," Nessel said. "It's my hope licensees will heed this warning and remain on high alert any time correspondence is received claiming to be from a LARA representative."
Earlier this year the departments urged licensees to beware of an elaborate, sophisticated scam that ultimately cost one physical therapist and her family their entire savings.
"No one from our office in LARA will ever reach out to you and threaten to suspend your license," Hawks said. "Our investigators have teamed up with Michigan State Police to put a stop to as many scams as possible - but we need our licensees to be alert to the possibility that the next text, email, or phone call they get about their license may be someone trying to scam them."
Last fall, several State of Michigan licensees encountered spam emails or spam websites impersonating LARA. Hawks emphasized the following while urging licensees to take caution:
- Licensees should be cautious of unsolicited requests for any of their personal information. LARA will not contact you directly asking for personal information.
- Be suspicious of any unexpected emails or links to websites. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
- Do not respond to - or open hyperlinks in - emails or text messages about validating your personal data.
- If there are any hyperlinks, check the URL before clicking. LARA websites will have "michigan.gov" in the URL.
- If you suspect fraud, report it immediately to LARA by calling 517-241-0199 or by emailing.
Remember: Do not reply to any suspicious emails and never provide personal information. If personal information is compromised, it may be used to commit identity theft or used in other fraud schemes.
More details on how Michiganders can protect their personal information are available on the Consumer Protection Team's webpage.
A library of consumer alerts created by the Department of Attorney General's Consumer Protection Team is available online and organized by a number of categories.