Scammers are impersonating law enforcement officers and threatening Arkansans with arrest if they don’t immediately pay money, according to a news release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.


Some scammers tell potential victims that they have failed to appear as a witness and a warrant for their arrest will be issued unless the victim sends a prepaid credit card. Other scammers threaten victims with arrest and deportation if they don’t send money.


“Con artists are preying on our respect for the law enforcement community by posing as officers in order to intimidate Arkansans,” Rutledge said. “These criminals are reaching new lows and can be very convincing. If an Arkansan receives a call from a law enforcement officer, they should look up the phone number for that officer’s agency and call to speak with someone at the agency directly.”


Rutledge released the following tips to help spot this scam and avoid falling victim:


• Courts and law enforcement agencies don’t seek or accept payment in prepaid gift cards.


• If a consumer owes money, legitimate collectors must first send a written notice confirming the debt.


• Consumers should not confirm or provide personal or financial information to an unknown person over the phone or Internet.


• Keep in mind that con artists don’t follow the law and disregard the do-not-call registry. Technological advances allow for Caller ID spoofing, allowing scammers to disguise the source of the calls.


For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.