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CONSUMER ALERT: INTERNET AD SCAMS PUT RENTERS AT RISK

April 23, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Consumers who are relocating or who are looking for a short-term getaway may turn to Internet rental listings to find just the right home to meet their needs. Both renters and landlords see Internet advertising as a convenient and inexpensive way to conduct business, but, unfortunately, so do con artists. Attorney General…

CONSUMER ALERT: STUDENT LOAN DEBT SCAMS INCREASING

April 16, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Student loan debt can be overwhelming to some consumers already riddled with debt from mortgages and credit card bills. The federal government says student loan debt is the single largest form of consumer debt, aside from mortgages. According to a recent report the average student will have amassed $29,000 in student loans…

CONSUMER ALERT: BE CAREFUL OF CALLER ID SPOOFING

April 9, 2014

LITTLE ROCK -- Many Arkansas consumers use their cell phone Caller ID to avoid unwanted calls from telemarketers. But the popular wireless feature is susceptible to fraud. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today issued a consumer alert to make Arkansans aware of a practice commonly known as Caller ID "spoofing," which involves the display of a…

CONSUMER ALERT: TIPS FOR FINDING A REPUTABLE AUTO REPAIR SHOP

April 2, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – A trip to the auto shop is usually unpleasant enough for consumers without the added stress of worrying whether they are one or two “fixes” away from a gigantic repair bill. Almost every consumer has had to take his or her car in for repairs or maintenance at one time or another.…

CONSUMERS RECEIVE RESTITUTION IN E-BOOKS SETTLEMENT

March 26, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Some Arkansas consumers who have purchased electronic books will begin receiving account credits or checks this week as the result of a settlement with five of the nation’s largest e-book publishers. Approximately $1 million will be distributed through credits or direct payments to Arkansas consumers, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said. McDaniel issued…

CONSUMER ALERT: LEARN MORE ABOUT FOIA DURING SUNSHINE WEEK

March 19, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas consumers interact with their state and local governments in one way or another every day. And, as taxpayers who support those governmental entities, Arkansans have the right to review an array of records at every level of government and to attend meetings of policy-making, tax-supported governing bodies. That right is provided…

CONSUMER ALERT: MOST COMMON SCAMS OF 2013 IDENTIFIED

March 12, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas consumers who are targeted by con artists risk more than just annoyance and inconvenience. Scammers can take hundreds or even thousands of dollars from consumers who fall victim to their illegal actions. However, with some vigilance and a little advance knowledge of a scammer’s tactics, most consumers can effectively defend themselves…

CONSUMER ALERT: TOP 10 CONSUMER COMPLAINTS ANNOUNCED

March 5, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Thousands of consumers contacted the Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office in 2013 with complaints regarding disputes with businesses or to report suspected scams or fraud. Based on reports from Arkansans last year, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today the top 10 most common types of consumer complaints received…

CONSUMER ALERT: CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION HELPS ARKANSANS

February 26, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansans engage in countless consumer transactions every day, and most of them take place without a hitch. Sometimes, though, Arkansas consumers may encounter problems in their day-to-day dealings. When consumers face problems such as errors on bills, defects in products or outright scams, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division may be able…

FUNERAL RULE HELPS PROTECT CONSUMERS IN TIMES OF GRIEF

February 19, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Upon the death of a loved one, grieving family members must quickly make decisions about funeral arrangements. Those decisions may be difficult for the bereaved at a time of such emotional duress. The array of options – including what type of funeral to have and what funeral provider to use – may…

CONSUMER ALERT: CONSUMERS TARGETED BY “ONE-RING” PHONE SCAM

February 12, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Curiosity may prove to be costly for consumers in an emerging scam that has targeted thousands of people across the country. Known as the “one-ring” scam, it’s identified as such because con artists use automated, random telephone dialers to call phones and hang up after one ring. The scam artists hope that…

CONSUMER ALERT: AVOID POST-STORM SCAMS

February 5, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Winter weather often takes a toll on trees, and with recent bouts of ice and snow across the State, this year is no exception.   Arkansas residents may seek out professional contractors to repair damage, trim trees or remove debris following the latest winter storms. Unfortunately, some tree-trimming services or other contractors…

CONSUMER ALERT: RISING PROPANE PRICES PROMPT CONCERNS

January 29, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Propane prices have risen dramatically in recent weeks, causing concern among Arkansas consumers who rely on the liquefied gas to heat their homes. Many rural Arkansans use propane as a heating source, and they are being hit especially hard this year because of colder-than-normal temperatures. The State’s poultry and livestock industries –…

SPECIAL CONSUMER ALERT: DATA PRIVACY DAY

January 28, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – As recent data breaches at major retailers have demonstrated, the theft of personal information is a headache for everyone affected and a significant, long-term issue for some. Consumers who are victims of identity theft or financial fraud can face years of problems related to the crimes. Just as technological advances have made…

CONSUMER ALERT: FREE TAX PREP HELP MAY BE AVAILABLE

January 22, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – With all the regulations and forms related to tax filing, it’s no wonder that tax preparation is a lucrative business. Some Arkansas consumers may choose to seek tax prep assistance rather than crunching numbers and reviewing documents themselves. Although paid tax preparation services are available and advertisements for them are prevalent this…

CONSUMER ALERT: “RAPID” TAX REFUND PRODUCTS MAY BE TOO COSTLY

January 15, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Consumers who expect to receive a federal income tax refund typically already have an idea about how they will use the refund, often long before the money actually arrives. Some may pay off bills. Others may set it aside for a vacation. Few, if any, have carved out plans to give a…

CONSUMER ALERT: PROTECT AGAINST TAX IDENTITY THEFT

January 8, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Identity thieves consistently look for ways to steal their way into a consumer’s pocketbook, and the criminals are increasingly turning toward tax identity theft as a way to do so. Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service said it has identified more than 14 million suspicious tax returns since 2011. Criminal investigations…

CONSUMER ALERT: RESOLVE TO JOIN THE RIGHT HEALTH CLUB

January 2, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. That is evident each January as crowds converge on fitness centers looking to work off pounds that may have been put on during the holidays. In order to keep fitness goals on track, consumers seeking to join a gym or…

CONSUMER ALERT: DILIGENTLY MONITOR CREDIT AND BANK ACCOUNTS

December 27, 2013

LITTLE ROCK – With Target’s recent announcement of a security breach that affected millions of its customers, Arkansas consumers are justifiably concerned about the impact of the breach. Target said last week that hackers stole the names, card numbers, expiration dates and other security information from more than 40 million credit cards or debit cards…

CONSUMER ALERT: REFUND AND EXCHANGE POLICIES VARY

December 18, 2013

LITTLE ROCK – The days after Christmas are busy times for retailers who face long lines of shoppers bringing back unwanted gifts. No matter what gifts are under the Christmas tree this year, most consumers expect to be able to return or exchange the clothes that don’t fit or items they do not want or…