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Rutledge Commits $50,000 for Use By the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association

Rutledge Commits $50,000 for Use By the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association

Tue, Aug 6, 2019

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge committed $50,000 for use by the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association. The transfer of funds was made available because of Act 876 of 2019, which appropriates law enforcement grants through the Rural Services Division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Rutledge issued the following statement after speaking to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association.

“Our law enforcement officers go above and beyond the call of duty everyday and I am committed to providing them the resources they need,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I cannot thank our law enforcement and their families enough for their time and sacrifice. I encourage all Arkansans to continually pray for their safety and protection as they serve a higher calling and work to make our state an even better place to live.”

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Rutledge Launches Statewide Public Service Announcement on Robocalls

Rutledge Launches Statewide Public Service Announcement on Robocalls

Mon, Aug 5, 2019

Says, ‘too many Arkansans lose their life savings to an overseas con’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today launched a statewide public service announcement addressing robocalls, a top issue impacting Arkansans. Rutledge has been leading the effort nationally and in Arkansas to combat robocalls and spoofing calls to stop con artists from scamming consumers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Every person in the State is sick and tired of the never ending robocalls,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Robocallers and scam calls make everyone angry, and sadly, too many Arkansans lose their life savings to an overseas con. I’m committed more than ever to do everything in my power to stop these calls and hold these scammers accountable.”

Rutledge has been leading the charge in the fight to combat incessant robocalls by demanding that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) require the telephone carriers to aggressively block illegal robocalls before they reach consumers. In June, the FCC responded modifying rules to clarify that telecom companies may block calls from certain unauthorized numbers. Rutledge also expressed support for congressional legislation namely, the passage of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.

In March, Rutledge worked with Arkansas state legislators to pass Acts 677 and 1074 of 2019, which fix stiffer penalties for illegal robocalls and spoofing. The law also requires telecommunication providers to submit annual reports to the Arkansas Public Service Commission to certify that all available and applicable technology is being employed to identify and block illegal robocalls and spoofing. The legislation was met with overwhelmingly bipartisan support and passed with no opposition.

The public service announcement can be viewed on various networks and cable stations throughout the State and can be found on Rutledge’s YouTube page.

Arkansans who would like to file a consumer complaint can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

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Rutledge Announces Settlement with Fraudulent Hospice Care Charity

Rutledge Announces Settlement with Fraudulent Hospice Care Charity

Thu, Aug 1, 2019

Says ‘preyed on compassionate people trying to donate to end of life care’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today a settlement agreement with The New Hope Foundation, Inc. The sham charity solicited donations through telemarketing and direct mail pieces using the deceptive name Hospice Support Fund. The New Hope Foundation claimed to provide educational programs regarding hospice services but little, if any, program services occurred.

“New Hope Foundation preyed on compassionate people trying to donate to end of life care services,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Fraudulent and deceptive businesses will not be allowed to take advantage of generous Arkansans.”

In the settlement agreement with New Hope, its officers and directors, the organization must dissolve and two of its officers are banned from any future charity or fundraising activities. New Hope will also pay $11,023.50 in costs, fees, and civil penalties to the State of Arkansas.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge recommends these tips for generous Arkansans looking to contribute to a charitable organization:

  • Be an informed giver. Research a charity’s ratings on a trusted watchdog website like BBB Wise Giving Alliance; GuideStar; Charity Navigator; or Charity Watch. Make sure the charity is registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
  • Watch out for similar sounding names. Scam artists often try to take advantage of names that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate charities.
  • Use secure payment methods when donating to a charity. Never donate using gift cards, wire transfers or other untraceable methods of payment.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

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Rutledge Files Suit Against Company Selling Timeshare Exit Plans

Rutledge Files Suit Against Company Selling Timeshare Exit Plans

Tue, Jul 30, 2019

Says, ‘good people were left with unwanted timeshares and thousands of dollars in fees’

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a consumer protection lawsuit today against Brian Scroggs, Bart Bowe and their Bentonville-based company Real Travel, LLC for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Rutledge has received 12 complaints from consumers who experienced deceptive, high-pressure sales tactics and failed to provide services valued at $136,310.

“Real Travel preyed on consumers who were desperate to get rid of timeshares that they no longer wanted or could not afford,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Sadly, good people were left with unwanted timeshares and thousands of dollars in fees for services not provided.”

Real Travel sold timeshare exit services to consumers nationwide. In exchange for a fee ranging from approximately $5,000 to $18,000, Real Travel convinced consumers through deception, high-pressure sales tactics, and a so-called “100% Guarantee” that it would liquidate, cancel, or transfer their unwanted timeshares. However, Real Travel failed to honor their agreements with consumers, leaving consumers burdened with the ownership of their unwanted timeshares, all the associated costs and fees and the additional unnecessary costs of Real Travel’s illusory services.

The Attorney General’s Office discovered 12 affected consumers impacted by Real Travel’s deception. Consumers reported trying to contact Real Travel to complete their timeshare transfer or obtain a refund with no success. According to the Complaint, consumer losses are valued at $136,310.

In Missouri, Scroggs and Bowe also operate Vacation Consulting Services and The Transfer Group, which have been the subject of several Better Business Bureau consumer alerts.

Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution for the affected consumers, and attorneys’ fees and costs. In addition, she seeks to permanently ban Scroggs and Bowe from engaging in the timeshare industry in Arkansas.

The lawsuit was filed in Benton County Circuit Court.

Consumers can file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling (800) 482-8982.

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