CONSUMER ALERT: ‘Free’ Gift Cards Cost Your Identity

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March 02, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Some shoppers across the Natural State are being targeted by con artists in an attempt to steal personal and financial information about these consumers.

Scammers are mailing fake gift cards, some for as much as $500, for popular retailers. Arkansans are told all they have to do is call the phone number on the card to activate it. But when the victim calls the number provided, the person on the other end of the line asks personal, financial questions.

Meanwhile, other reports of a related scam have surfaced. Gift cards to retail businesses are being offered through email and social media, where a link is provided that takes potential victims to a website asking for similar personal information.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to warn Arkansans to never give out personal information to an unknown party or untrustworthy website.

“This scam, like so many others, targets unsuspecting Arkansans in an attempt to steal their identity and hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These scam artists ask questions in order to get as much information about your personal life and finances that they can. Oftentimes, even if they cannot get specific account information, they try to obtain enough information to hack into bank and credit card accounts. It is important for all Arkansans to keep their personal information private.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help prevent this type of gift card fraud:

  • Never provide personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it is over the phone, email or Internet.
  • Do not open or respond to unsolicited mail offering free gift cards.
  • Consider contacting the retailer directly, if there are questions about the validity of a mail piece.
  • To report suspected gift card scams, file a complaint at
  • If you have fallen victim to this scam, contact your financial institution immediately to protect your accounts, block your cards, fill out a fraud affidavit and take other protective measures to protect your identity.

For more information on identity theft, to apply for an ID Theft Passport or assistance with other consumer related issues, contact the Attorney General's office at (800) 482-8982 or or visit or

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on Nov. 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office.

Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.