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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Scammers Attempt to Extort Arkansans into Payout

Says, ‘Criminals are using old or similar passwords to illegally extort Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – While social distancing, Arkansans have been taking precautions and staying at home, which means more time spent online. As a result, scam artists are using tactics to extort money from Arkansans by threatening to release compromising photos. To dupe the recipient of an extortion email, the scammer may print the consumer’s email password or use high-pressure tactics to get them to pay right away. These actions are not only a scam, but also a criminal offense.

“Criminals are using old or similar passwords to illegally extort Arkansans into sending large sums of money to scam artists,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Anyone threatening or using high-pressure tactics to force payment is perpetrating a scam, and any Arkansan receiving such communications should cease contact immediately with the scammer and call my office.”

Attorney General Rutledge along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has provided these tips for Arkansans using the internet while social distancing.

  • Do not open emails or attachments from unknown individuals.
  • Monitor your bank account statements regularly, and your credit report at least once a year for any unusual activity.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited email senders or click on phishing links, outdated information or give personal information through email.
  • Do not store sensitive information online or on your mobile devices.
  • Use strong passwords containing numbers and symbols, and do not use the same password for multiple websites.
  • Never provide personal information of any sort via email. Be aware that many emails requesting your personal information appear to be legitimate.
  • Ensure security settings for social media accounts are activated and set at the highest level of protection.
  • Verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type the address into your browser for greater protection.

For more information, or if you believe you have been a victim of criminal extortion file a complaint with the FBI at www.ic3.gov or contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or [email protected] or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves as co-chairs of the National Association of Attorneys General Veterans Affairs Committee, re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture and was the former Chairwoman of the National Association of Attorneys General Southern Region. As the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, she remains active on the Executive Board.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

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