State wildlife agencies are warning residents to keep an eye out for scam websites that are “selling” fishing licenses.
Last week, Georgia DNR Law Enforcement reported it detected a fake website that targeted personal information and had no licenses to sell.
“This scam website appears as an advertisement during a Google Search for ‘Georgia Fishing License,’ "the agency said in a Jan. 22 news release. “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.”
On Tuesday, Mark McKinnon of Georgia DNR Law Enforcement told Game & Fish Magazine in an email that the actual website was still active but it had been removed from Google. He said investigators believe the site was created and launched in Europe, “which makes it very difficult to actually shut down.”
He said other states have reported similar scams believed to be from the same perpetrators.
For instance, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency also issued a warning last week for a scam with same MO and Colorado Parks and Wildlife filed an alert about fraudulent third-party sites selling fishing licenses.
McKinnon said there also has been scam reports in Texas, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina. “But there could be more,” he said.
And similar scams pop up nearly every year in various parts of the country, so it’s best to be on guard.
Hunters and anglers everywhere are reminded to only purchase from legitimate online vendors. Your can link to legitimate sellers from most state wildlife and fisheries websites.
Said McKinnon, “All we can do at this point is warn everyone to be sure they are on a legitimate site when purchasing any product or service, and if you can’t tell, give the company or agency a call to verify. The ONLY legitimate site to purchase hunting and fishing licenses in Georgia is www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com."