Attorney General Ford Offers Tips for Spotting Phishing Scams

December 1, 2021

Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford warns Nevadans to be on alert this holiday season for phishing scams — emails or text messages designed to trick consumers into giving away their personal information.

“Scammers adapt quickly to send out electronic messages that are designed to look like they are from a trusted source: your credit card company, an online store or a social networking website,” said AG Ford. “These cleverly worded emails and texts are designed to trick you into revealing your personal information so that the scammer can gain access to your email, bank or other accounts. As the holiday season ramps up and people are shopping for gifts, you can protect yourself by knowing the signs of a potential phishing scam.”

Phishing messages may look almost identical to legitimate messages from businesses, which makes them even harder to spot. Often, the message contains statements designed to entice you to click on a link to take action. For example, the message may say that you must confirm your payment information or recent transaction, say you are eligible for a refund, make an offer for free stuff or claim suspicious activity occurred on your account.

Phishing emails and messages look like they are from a company you know and trust. They may even use the company’s logo and header. They often use colors that are similar to those that a legitimate company would use.

The following is an example of a phishing email. As you can see, it appears to be a legitimate email from a bank. However, the email is suspicious because it is directing the recipient to click on a link to review a recent transaction.  


The Office of the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection offers the following tips for spotting a phishing email or text message:

Don’t click on any links from emails or text messages, even if you are familiar with the company. Instead, manually enter the web address you know is legitimate in your browser;

If you get an email or text message from a company that asks you to click on a link, ask yourself if it is a company with which you have done business. If the answer is no, it is likely a scam. If the answer is yes, contact the company by using a phone number or website that you know is legitimate. For example, call the number of your bank that is on your credit or debit card to confirm any suspicious transactions;

Copy and paste some of the text from the message into a search engine to see if any known phishing attacks use the same language; and

Protect all of your accounts with multifactor authentication. This means that you will need extra credentials to log into your accounts, such as a code sent to your mobile device. This will help protect your accounts in the event your information is compromised.

If you responded to a phishing message and gave a scammer your information, go to and find out the next steps you should take. If you received a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group with the FTC at If you received a phishing text message, forward it to the FTC at SPAM (7726). After you have done that, report the phishing attack at