Attorney General Alert: Don’t Fall for the Family Emergency Scam

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Attorney General Leslie Rutlegde Arkansasag dot govAttorney General Leslie Rutledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2021

Contact: Amanda Priest
Amanda Priest, (501) 414-2223
Amanda.Priest@ArkansasAG.gov


Attorney General Alert: Don’t Fall for the Family Emergency Scam


LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans about scam callers who will pull at your heartstrings and attempt to steal your money. Potential targets will receive a panicked phone call from a person claiming to be a relative, oftentimes a grandchild who is in jail or the hospital, who needs money right away. The con artists will ask for money to be wired to them immediately and even pose as an attorney to threaten callers. With wire transfers being similar to cash, the money cannot be retrieved.

“You should never wire money to someone claiming to be a family member in jail unless you have verified that information with another close family member,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This ‘family emergency’ scam is a recycled, common scam that is used to scare Arkansans into turning over their hard-earned money.”

Attorney General Rutledge recommends the following strategies to avoid falling victim to the “family emergency” scheme:

  • Resist pressure to act quickly.
  • Never give or wire money based on any unsolicited phone call.
  • Verify the family member’s location by directly calling another family member, the grandchild or the hospital or jail.
  • Do not send money to an unknown account or entity.
  • Ask the caller for his or her name, and if they cannot provide it, hang up immediately.
  • Have a plan in place when family members are traveling to easily identify whether a need is genuine.

For more information and tips on how to avoid a scam, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 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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