LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans of a prevalent tech support scam infecting common electronic devices, such as smart phones, laptops and tablets. This antivirus software scam usually begins with a phone call or pop-up message on the consumer's electronic device. The communication is actually from a fake tech support representative claiming to be from a well-known technology company.
"I urge all Arkansans to be cautious when anyone asks for access to their devices or private information," said Attorney General Rutledge. "Scam artists scour the internet and phonebooks to find unsuspecting victims who are willing to share their sensitive information."
How the scam works is that a representative or message will claim to the consumer that there is a virus infecting a device or that the consumer's virus protection has expired. The consumer is instructed to install software immediately in order to protect the device and private information. Often times, the scammer claims to need sensitive information such as account numbers, date of birth or Social Security number in order to remedy the issue. Even more terrifying, the scammer will con a victim into giving access to the device. When the device is accessed in this way, the scammers install applications that allow remote access to the device any time without the victim's knowledge or permission. The scam artists use this information for illegal activities, such as gaining access to consumer's bank accounts. Scammers will quickly drain the accounts and move on to another unsuspecting victim.
Remember these tips when safely navigating online:
- No legitimate company will ever send you an unsolicited email asking for your personal information.
- If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply.
- Contact the business identified in the original message directly by using the customer service number provided to you on a reliable statement to verify the legitimacy of the message.
- Do not give sensitive information in response to an unsolicited request.
- Immediately delete all suspicious emails, and never open email attachments or click on links from unknown sources.
The Attorney General's Office provides a tip card for consumers on how to spot phishing scams, information for parents to spot cyberbullying and tips on internet safety.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Attorney General's office by calling (800) 482-8982, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting 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.