LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined First Community Bank and banks around the nation warning Arkansans about the latest scam sweeping the State. The newest scam involves con artists spoofing a phone number to cause the bank's fraud department name and number to display on the phone's caller I.D. The scammer will use official-sounding conversation to gain the trust and then ask for the consumer to provide a verification code via text message. The code will give the scammer access to the consumer's account, and even change the online banking password. The scammer will then transfer the funds in the account via a third party app, such as Zelle.
"Con artists will use any means necessary to trick hardworking individuals out of their money," said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. "It is vital that consumers are aware of these types of scams and are cautious before giving out personal or financial information. I will continue to sound the alarm to prevent consumers from losing their lifesavings and to hold these crooks accountable."
"This type of fraud is a growing problem in our state and we want everyone to know that First Community Bank or any bank in Arkansas will never call a customer asking for their account number or a password," said Dale Cole, First Community Bank Chairman and CEO. "The criminals are calling, sending texts, emails and sometimes mailing letters. Please be careful and never give any personal information to the criminals when they contact you!"
You should follow these steps to ensure that your personal information and banking information remains secure:
- Never provide information such as date of birth, social security number or account information over the phone to an unknown caller
- When in doubt, hang up the phone and call the number on the back of your debit card or visit your local bank branch for assistance
- Don't click on suspicious links sent via text message asking for verification
- Always shred important documents that may contain personal or account information
For more information related to scams, call the 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 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.