News/Events

Attorney General Alerts

Flooding Brings Headaches for Arkansans

Flooding Brings Headaches for Arkansans

Wed, Apr 24, 2019

After the recent heavy rains and severe storms swept across Arkansas, which caused a section of I-30 to be temporarily shut down and storm damage throughout the State, Arkansans are left picking up the pieces and preparing for storm season. While nature’s fury can be devastating, there are many things that Arkansans can do to protect themselves and their property in the aftermath of a storm.

“Severe storms and flood waters can cause terrible damage to property,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Arkansans need to know the steps to take if their property has been impacted by the recent severe weather. We also need to know how to protect our pocketbook from those who want to take advantage of us during this difficult time.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for consumers who are cleaning up water damage on their property:

  • Call your insurance agent. If insurance covers the damage, the agent should have an adjuster contact you.
  • Make a list of the damage and take photographs or video as you clean. This documentation will be needed for insurance claims, applications for disaster assistance, and income tax deductions.
  • Clear away any mud, and clean and disinfect every surface.
  • Check with the Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau before hiring anyone to clean up or make repairs.
  • Get multiple estimates and compare prices.
  • Turn off all electrical and heating and cooling systems to be inspected and repaired or cleaned by a qualified or licensed contractor.
  • Appliances and electronics should be professionally cleaned and serviced to prevent electrocution.
  • Never pay in advance for any repair service, and inspect the completed project before making the final payment.
  • Communicate with the insurance company directly rather than authorizing a contractor to negotiate with the company.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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Prescription Drug Take Back Scheduled for April 27

Prescription Drug Take Back Scheduled for April 27

Wed, Apr 17, 2019

The bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for April 27. It is an important opportunity for Arkansans to clean out old and unused prescription medications because more than half of Arkansas teens report it is easy to obtain prescription drugs from their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. Prescription Drug Take back is one way to ensure these lethal drugs stay out of the hands of addicted Arkansans.

“The prescription drug epidemic continues to wreak havoc on our state and country,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs impacts a staggering number of families across Arkansas. It will take all of us working together to make a difference, including properly disposing of medications.”

Rutledge released the following list of medications that will be accepted at these events across the State:

  • Opioids, such as OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, etc.
  • Stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, etc.
  • Depressants, such as Ativan, Xanax, Valium, etc.
  • Other prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Pet medicines
  • Medicated ointments and lotions
  • Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces)
  • Medicine samples

Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.

Prescription drug Take Back locations will be available 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Days are held twice a year, but to find event sites and year-round drop-off locations near you, visit ARTakeBack.org.

Properly destroying these medications also protects the environment. Medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting waters, which could contaminate food and water supplies. Wastewater treatment plants or septic systems may not remove many medicine compounds. Turning over these medications at Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors or pets, as well as reduces the risk of drug abuse.

Attorney General Rutledge has been a leader in the State and nation combatting the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach through education, prevention and litigation. Her first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and over the last year has reached almost 14,000 students. In November, the Attorney General hosted the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit with record attendance, which provided training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo, opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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Scammers Selling Fake 'Fido' Pets to Families

Scammers Selling Fake 'Fido' Pets to Families

Wed, Apr 10, 2019

Scam artists are hiding online pretending to sell domestic pets, but instead are taking the consumer’s money without turning over a new fluffy friend. Often, these ads are found on free buy-and-sell websites and use especially endearing photos of the animal they have no intention of sending, or may not even own.

“Con artists are scouring the internet looking for new ways to get into our wallets,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Families considering adding a new pet have a lot to think about, especially whether having this new pet is the right decision for them. They should not have to also worry if the seller is trying to scam them.”

Attorney General Rutledge and the Federal Trade Commission released the following tips to avoid falling victim to a scammer selling a pet that does not exist.

  • Visit in person the breeder or rescue group offering the pet. Responsible individuals and organizations will allow potential customers to tour their facility.
  • Search the user’s profile for warning signs that it may be a scam. Fake breeder websites can often look real because they steal content from legitimate rescue sites. Look for duplicate sites by copying a line from the website into a search engine and looking for identical wording elsewhere on the Internet.
  • Arrange to pick up the animal from a kennel instead of meeting the breeder at a potentially unsafe location. Do not rely on the breeder to ship the animal, and never pay for shipping.
  • Check the organization’s references. Talk to others who have purchased pets from this breeder and the breeder’s veterinarian.
  • Pay for the puppy with a check or credit card. If a breeder pressures for a wire transfer or prepaid debit card payment, it is probably a scam.

Attorney General Rutledge encourages Arkansans to do their research regarding adopting and purchasing pets. If you have questions about a potential pet shipper, the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association provides a list of trusted shippers across the world.


For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or
consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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Scammers Posing as Trusted Companies to Steal Financial Information

Scammers Posing as Trusted Companies to Steal Financial Information

Thu, Apr 4, 2019

Scammers are posing as employees of legitimate and trusted businesses such as pest control, lawn care or alarm companies in an attempt to steal personal information from Arkansans. The caller tries to set up an in-home appointment or confirm personal information in hopes of gaining access to credit card numbers, social security numbers or bank account information. This is a scam, and Arkansans should hang up immediately.

“Arkansans should be cautious of unsolicited callers trying to confirm personal information and set up appointments,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “If you have any doubt, hang up and find the company’s phone number from an independent source and call them to confirm the information you have been told. Do not use the number on your caller ID from the original call.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for recognizing and responding to these types of scam calls:

  • These callers may request to be contacted only at the number provided instead of the company’s general number.
  • These scammers know your name but try to gather other personal information.
  • Be mindful that scammers can spoof the caller ID to suggest they are calling from the trusted company when they are not.
  • Do not trust the caller simply because they have personal information.
  • Do not verify information or give out personal banking or similar information because it could lead to identity theft.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, close accounts that have been tampered with or fraudulently opened, and file a complaint with the FTC. The Attorney General’s office also offers an ID Theft Passport to help victims reestablish their good name, which requires that consumers first file a police report for financial identity theft.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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Door-to-Door Salespeople Springing into Action

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Door-to-Door Salespeople Springing into Action

Wed, Mar 27, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – Spring is in full swing, but the warmer temperatures often bring scammers who try to sell products door-to-door. The Attorney General’s office regularly receives complaints each year about door-to-door salespeople using scare tactics and violations of the Home Solicitations Sales Act to sell home alarm systems.

“The Arkansas Home Solicitations Sales Act provides important protections for consumers,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “High pressure sales tactics, misrepresentations of products and failure to provide a copy of the contract are just some of the common illegal practices utilized by door-to-door salespeople. My office is here to educate Arkansans about their rights and to fight for consumers when a business violates the law.”

Attorney General Rutledge provided the below tips for consumers to help spot an unscrupulous door-to-door salesperson:

  • Consumers have a right to review the contract outside the presence of the sales agent and cancel the contract without obligation within three days of the home solicitation sale. The sales agent must provide the consumer written notice of this right to cancel along with the proposed contract.
  • High-pressure tactics are rarely employed by companies whose business depends on providing quality customer service. A legitimate company will allow consumers to weigh options and will review with the consumer the details of the sale and features of the product or service.
  • The solicitor may suggest that an existing service or product needs an “upgrade,” when the salesperson actually represents a different company. This may lead a homeowner to believe the service or product must be “upgraded” to remain reliable.
  • Be wary of home solicitations involving “free installation.” Homeowners may think it is a bargain, but many “free installation” offers are coupled with long-term, high-cost service contracts or other hidden costs. In the long run, the “free” offer may be the most expensive of all.

Arkansans who may have been victimized by deceptive home solicitation sales practices are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s office.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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Tax Scammers Send Fake Letters

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Tax Scammers Send Fake Letters

Wed, Mar 20, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – With tax season deadline looming, scammers continue to adapt when seeking ways to instill fear and intimidate Arkansans. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office has received reports of a scam being sent through the mail which appears to be a letter from the so-called “Bureau of Tax Enforcement for Pulaski County”—an entity that does NOT exist—claiming the recipient owes money to another state.

“Scammers are determined to steal your hard-earned money and will go to great lengths to intimidate Arkansans,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The Bureau of Tax Enforcement for Pulaski County is a fake, unlawful organization and these letters often to do not provide a return address, only a phone number.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to use if Arkansans have received a similar letter:

  • Contact the local tax office to make sure you have no outstanding bills.
  • Do not verify sensitive information such as social security number and banking information; verifying that information could lead to identity theft.
  • File a police report with your local law enforcement.
  • If consumers have questions, then contact the Attorney General’s office.

The scam letter may also request that the recipient purchase gift cards or prepaid debit cards to pay off the “debt.” The scammer will ask for the code on the purchased card, which gives them complete access to money on the card. In most cases, once the prepaid card money is depleted, it cannot be recovered.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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