Alerts

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Scammers Are Open for Business Online

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is cautioning Arkansans when shopping online and on social media. Whether shopping through an adorable online boutique or Facebook Marketplace, con artists will use every trick in the book to steal your money without delivering what you paid for or their merchandise may not look as promised.

“Criminals see online shopping as an easy way to steal from you using deceitful posts,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Whether they are in person or online thieves, we will find them and hold them accountable.”

Attorney General Rutledge provides the following tips to help keep consumers safe while shopping online:

  • Look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar, and the abbreviation “https” in the web address to be sure information is secure and to help guard the security of your information as it is transmitted to a website. Be sure your browser has the most up-to-date encryption capabilities by using the latest version available.
  • Check the online merchant’s privacy policy before providing any personal financial information and determine how the information will be used or shared with others. Some websites’ disclosures are easier to find than others — look at the bottom of the home page, on order forms or in the “About” or “FAQs” sections of a site.
  • Read and understand return, refund and shipping policies before you make your purchase.
  • Pay by credit card, which is the most secure payment method. Under federal law, charges can be disputed and consumer liability for theft is limited so long as consumers promptly notify the bank or credit card issuer. Additionally, many credit card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the purchaser pays nothing if his or her credit card is stolen and used to make unauthorized purchases.
  • Keep personal information private. Do not disclose personal information – address, telephone number, Social Security number, bank account number or email address – unless you know who is collecting the information, why they are collecting it and how they will use it.
  • Be cautious when buying gifts from an online auction. Understand how the auction works and check the seller’s reputation before bidding. Always ask about terms of delivery and return options. Never wire money for the purchase; use some other form of payment.
  • Keep records of online transactions and check for emails from merchants. Merchants may email important information about purchases.
  • Promptly and thoroughly review monthly credit card and bank statements for any errors or unauthorized purchases. Notify the credit or debit card issuer immediately if a card or checkbook is lost or stolen or if you suspect someone is using your accounts without your permission.

For more information about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

323 Center Street, Suite 200

Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

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