The Washington State Attorney General's office is dealing with a new headache. 

Thousands of emails have been sent leading off with any of the following phrases:

•       New Pick Coming! But first I need your help, details inside

•       Pick Of The Week

•       This Stock is another monster week ahead


•       Your Mind Blowing Monster Pick!

•       News Out & Must Read Inside.

The recipient is asked to click on a link to take them to this "incredible investment opportunity that is endorsed by the AG Office." Many of the emails contain the same-looking header, or lead-in, used by the state AG office.

Janet Guthrie of the AG office in Oympia says it is the work of "phishers," who are attempting to obtain personal information from unsuspecting citizens. Guthrie says these online scammers are sometimes good at stealing logos and official letterhead from respected businesses and government agencies to make their bogus emails look real.

Guthrie says there are easy ways to detect if an email is from a scammer or phisher:

Here are some clues you’ve received a spoof e-mail:

•       It asks you to provide log-in information like your user name or password.

•       It contains an attachment or includes a claim a virus is found.

•       It appears to be a reply from someone you’ve never contacted.

•       It includes an error message from a system administrator that includes an attachment for you to view or a URL to click.

•       The message includes a lot of obvious spelling or grammatical errors.

The Attorney General's office never sends personal emails to citizens unless replying to a specific inquiry. Guthrie says to never give out personal information to anyone via the Internet unless you personally know them.

For more information about protecting yourself from e-mail scams, phishing, and other online predators, click on the button below.