LITTLE ROCK - As Valentine's Day approaches, Attorney General Rutledge is warning Arkansans to remain cautious of online dating romance scams. Would-be suiters take advantage of people looking for romantic partners on dating websites and social media. The fraudsters pretend to be romantically interested in their victims, only to build trust to then lure and access an individual's personal and financial information. This is commonly referred to as a sweetheart scam or romance scam.
"Romance scammers often target and exploit elderly seniors and widowed Arkansans looking for companionship and love - only to steal their life savings," said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. "I see this scenario all too frequently, and I urge consumers to avoid a heart-breaking tragedy by not sharing financial or personal information with anyone they do not know personally."
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for social media users:
- Share your hopes and dreams, not your salary and bank information.
- Be honest about your expectations, not your pin number.
- Reveal your hobbies, not your passwords.
- Open your heart to love, not your wallet to a sob story.
- Plan to meet in public, not in a private, secluded or an unknown place.
- Talk about your favorite vacations, not when you're leaving town.
- Hope for the best in others, but don't ignore red flags.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Attorney General's Office at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
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.