Phishing scam could leave Floridians with credit card debt

In recent weeks, a number of Florida residents have received emails as part of a new phishing scam trying to capitalize on the devastation of the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to a warning issued by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a new identity theft risk has arisen for the state’s homeowners thanks to a series of scam emails from Nigeria in which the criminal poses as BP chief executive officer Tony Hayward. The fraudsters promise a grant of $500,000 in exchange for personal information including credit card account details.

“Scammers and con artists are brazenly trying to capitalize on Floridians who have been affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster,” McCollum said. “Consumers should be on high alert and should report suspicious emails such as this one to my office immediately.”

A report from financial advice website The Consumerist said that this scam targeting people who have already been victimized by the disaster is just the latest in a long line of similar ploys to originate from Nigeria.