LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans about the dangers of personal information being compromised. More and more, Arkansans' personal information is requested to make an online purchase or sign up for a subscription. This can include "fun" quizzes or surveys on social media inviting participants to share the name of a first pet, the street first lived on or the name of a favorite teacher. However, each time personal information is shared, it may be vulnerable, compromised or stolen. This simple act could be handing over sensitive information that can be used to steal an identity. Arkansans should know what to do if personal information finds itself in the wrong hands. For instance, hackers have been known to infiltrate online businesses leading to data breaches, which can lead to private information being stolen and used for identity theft.
"Con artists will work overtime to steal your information and identity," said Attorney General Rutledge. "It is important Arkansans take the necessary steps to protect their personal information and privacy in the digital age."
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips from the Federal Trade Commission for Arkansans who believe their information has been compromised online:
- Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. It's easy, and it's free.
- Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often. Contact your credit card or bank immediately if you notice errors or have concerns.
- Know your payment due dates.
- If a bill doesn't show up when you expect it, look into it.
- Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
- Before making an online purchase, check out the company first. Read the reviews and Google the name of the company along with the word "scam" or "complaint."
- Resist the urge to take social media quizzes or surveys that ask you to share personal information.
- Report any lost, stolen, or compromised identification cards to appropriate authorities, such as local law enforcement and the Arkansas Revenue office.
There are many options available to better protect personal information if there is concern that personal information has been compromised. For more information on preventing identity theft, please visit the Attorney General's Consumer Protection page at ArkansasAG.gov or the Federal Trade Commission's website.
Committing identity theft in Arkansas is a felony and comes with a sentence that could include incarceration, fines up to $25,000, and restitution. For more information on other consumer-related issues, please contact the Arkansas Attorney General's Office at (800) 482-8982, by emailing OAG@arkansasag.gov, 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.