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Attorney General Alerts

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Avoid Gift Return Blues

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Avoid Gift Return Blues

Wed, Dec 18, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – To make gift returns and exchanges simple and less frustrating, it starts when buying the present.

“An unknown and complicated return policy can spoil some of the holiday fun and hurt your pocketbook,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Arkansans should learn the return policy prior to attempting the return. Some retailers allow shoppers to make returns for any reason, which can lead consumers to wrongly believe they are entitled, by law, to a full refund or credit.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for gift recipients needing to make a return or exchange this holiday season:

  • Ask the giver about the store’s return or exchange policy.
  • Keep all gift receipts.
  • If considering returning, do not open the box or remove the tags.
  • Some online retailers allow purchases to be returned in store, while others require the item to be shipped back. Check with the company ahead of time.

As a gesture of goodwill, most companies offer in-store exchanges if the customer has the receipt and the item is promptly returned. However, others have an “all sales are final” policy for deeply discounted or clearance items and do not allow returns or exchanges. Some retailers only accept returns in exchange for store credit or gift cards, not cash. Return policies not only differ from store to store but can also differ for items purchased in store and items bought online or by mail-order.

Some retailers that allow returns may charge restocking fees for certain products. Consumers can sometimes pay a fee of 10 to 25 percent of the price of the item if the package is not in the condition in which it was purchased. Meanwhile, items like computer software, CDs, DVDs and Blue-Ray discs are not generally returnable after the seal has been broken.

Retailers are not required to accept at-will returns, and even in the case of a defective product, consumers may be required to contact the manufacturer. Sometimes retailers will require consumers to deal with the product manufacturer directly, rather than simply returning the item to the place of purchase.

The National Retail Federation estimates holiday spending to increase at least 3.8 percent to $728 billion this year.

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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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Popular Secret Santa Scam is Back on Social Media

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Popular Secret Santa Scam is Back on Social Media

Wed, Dec 11, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – The Secret Santa/Secret Sister scams are making the rounds again on social media. Save your money, postage and heartache, and keep on scrolling when you spot an offer that seems too good to be true. The scam works by requesting online “friends” to send relatively inexpensive gifts or gift cards to those on an email or social media chain, with the promise that they, too, will receive gifts in the exchange. At the very least, participants will spend money and send gifts without getting anything in return. At worst, scammers use personal information posted on social media to participate, often leading to identity theft.

“The shared post may seem harmless about ‘Secret Santa’ when it comes from your great aunt or a college buddy on social media, but these innocent re-posts are a scam,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is important for Arkansans to know there are hidden dangers on social media and no one is safe when it comes to their wallet and personal information.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for consumers to avoid the Secret Santa scam:

  • Consumers should never disclose their personal information to an unknown person online because it could result in identity theft or the opening of other accounts in their name.
  • Unfortunately it is unlikely that a consumer will actually receive gifts in response to such a scheme; because if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • Consult the terms of use for Facebook and other social media platforms as they may prohibit schemes like this one.
  • Review guidance available from the U.S. Postal Service because it may be illegal to send the requested gift cards.
  • Consumers should safeguard their banking and financial information in order to prevent theft due to scams.
  • When using the internet, consumers should ensure that they are using a verified, secure, and encrypted website when sharing any personal or financial information online.

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 or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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Protect Yourself from Prowling Scam Artists While Holiday Shopping

Protect Yourself from Prowling Scam Artists While Holiday Shopping

Wed, Nov 20, 2019

As the most popular shopping days of the year are upon Arkansans, scam artists are proactively searching for opportunities to steal your identity, money and personal information. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has identified best practices that will be rolled out throughout the week for consumers that can be used during the entire holiday season.

“Every Christmas season, many Arkansans experience some form of fraud from a con artist or bad actor who tries to steal your personal identity, bank account or credit card information, or who fails to uphold the terms of a sales agreement,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday often have us plugging in credit and debit card numbers online where predatory scam artists could be lurking, waiting for an opportunity to steal your money.”

Every year, countless American shoppers fall victim to identity thieves by not following a few simple rules. Attorney General Rutledge provides the following tips to help keep consumers safe while shopping online:

According to the National Retail Federation, 55 percent of consumers cited online shopping as the most popular shopping destination this year. They also expect holiday sales to increase 4.1 percent over last year. That means consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,007.24 this year on gifts.

Also, research companies before finalizing the online purchase to ensure it is a credible merchant, and check the anticipated delivery date to make sure it will be delivered in time for the holidays.

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 or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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Watch Out for Fake Military Charities Stealing from Arkansans

Watch Out for Fake Military Charities Stealing from Arkansans

Thu, Nov 7, 2019

Year round, scammers will steal money from Arkansans by posing as veterans charities and requesting donations. These scams result in money being directed into the pockets of con artists rather than the veterans charities that rely on them. Attorney General Rutledge knows that with Veterans Day it is important to educate consumers on recognizing charitable solicitation fraud and distinguishing between fake and real charities.

“It’s unbelievable that con artists will create charities named similarly to existing, trustworthy organizations in the name of our beloved and dedicated military,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Knowing and asking the correct questions will alert Arkansans to potential scams. I am determined to protect Arkansans’ hard-earned money and especially those helping veterans and our brave servicemen and women.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers ensure an organization’s legitimacy before giving money:

In 2015, Rutledge launched the first-ever Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office to assist active duty military service members, reservists, veterans and their families with consumer-related issues and many other collaborative efforts.

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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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Don’t Test Your Luck over a Trophy Buck

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Don’t Test Your Luck over a Trophy Buck

Wed, Oct 30, 2019

Says, “hunt safely, responsibly and legally”

LITTLE ROCK – From deer to ducks, Arkansas is every outdoorsman’s paradise. According to Arkansas law, all hunters are required to carry a hunting license with them while they are hunting and must tag all harvested deer within 24 hours.

“I want every Arkansas hunter to enjoy themselves,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “But I also want them to hunt safely, responsibly, and legally. I am deeply grateful for the many Wildlife Officers who are committed to preserving the resources of The Natural State for future generations.”

Attorney General Rutledge urges hunters to follow all rules and regulations and to utilize the guidebooks and other resources provided by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

  • Arkansas hunters and anglers 16 years or older are required to purchase a hunting or fishing license. A license can be purchased online through the Arkansas Game and Fish app, AGFC.com, over the phone at 501-223-6300, at participating sporting goods stores, nature centers or at Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Offices.
  • Arkansas hunters and anglers can carry a digital copy of their hunting and fishing licenses using the Arkansas Game and Fish app. The digital copy may be carried on their phone as a screenshot of the license image or as an image saved in their phone’s files. They may also carry their license as a paper copy or even a reloadable plastic card to show proof of purchase.
  • Arkansas hunters are required to check harvested deer within 24 hours, either by AG&FC’s app, AGFC.com, or by phone at 877-731-5627.
  • Anyone born after 1968 must complete a hunter education course to hunt in Arkansas, which can be completed via instructor or online. Children under the age of 16 may hunt without hunter education as long as they are under the direct supervision of someone who is 21 years or older.

For more information on hunting safely and legally visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at www.agfc.com.

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Don’t Get Tricked During This Giving Season

Don’t Get Tricked During This Giving Season

Fri, Oct 25, 2019

Says, ‘be cautious and ask questions of those soliciting donations’

LITTLE ROCK –The giving season is right around the corner, and in preparation for the holidays, October 21 through October 25 is recognized as Charity Fraud Awareness Week. Unfortunately, con artists are constantly inventing new ways or recycling old scams to trick unsuspecting, generous Arkansans into giving their hard earned money to fake charities. Every Arkansan should be armed with tips to protect himself from scammers and know that his donations are going to organizations truly making a difference.

“Con artists and criminals will take advantage of every opportunity to use Arkansans’ generosity to funnel money into their sham charities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I urge all Arkansans to be cautious and ask questions of those soliciting donations to ensure donations go to those in need.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers verify an organization’s legitimacy before giving money:

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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