The Georgia Department of Natural Resources law enforcement division is trying to get a website shut down that has scammed people looking for a fishing license.
DNR said the scam license website appears when someone searches for “Georgia fishing license.”
“The site then allows you to enter your personal information, such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, phone number, email address and residential address. It gathers this info, but never asks for payment for the license,” DNR communications and outreach specialist Melissa Cummings wrote in an email.
DNR spokesman Mark McKinnon said Thursday, Jan. 23, the department is still trying to find the responsible parties for the scam website, adding “it is likely still operational.”
“We have had approximately 20 people who have reached out to us to inform us they have been scammed,” McKinnon wrote in an email Thursday.
The only legitimate website for Georgians looking for hunting and fishing licenses is gooutdoorsgeorgia.com.
Cummings said it appears the website was created outside of the United States and is active in North Georgia and on the coast. Anyone who has provided personal information is asked to contact the DNR law enforcement division investigative unit at 770-918-6408. The department also encourages people to file a police report with their local agency and monitor/freeze credit.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were 44,888 identity theft reports in Georgia in 2019.
“The best thing people can do to protect themselves from these types of scams is to be absolutely certain you are on a legitimate site when looking to purchase something. If the site is asking for information that could compromise your identity, pick up the phone and call the company or agency that sells the product or service to verify the validity of the site,” McKinnon wrote in an email.
See original story by the Gainesville Times here.