While Arkansans are setting their new year’s resolutions for 2019, scam artists also see the new year as an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting residents, according to a news release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

“In the new year, scammers will continue to pose as someone they are not and try to steal personal and financial information, convince Arkansans they won a prize in exchange for a fee, trick consumers into believing they have debt that must be paid by gift cards, and many more variations on common scams,” according to the release.

“Arkansans must remain vigilant to keep their private information out of the hands of thieves,” Rutledge said. “Bad actors will continue to do bad deeds, but there are steps Arkansans can take to protect themselves and spot a potential scam before being victimized.”

Rutledge released the following tips to spot a scam:

• Don’t answer a call from an unknown number.

• Wiring money is like giving cash away. There is no protection for consumers if the recipient is not who he or she claimed to be.

• Never give out personal or banking information in response to a phone, email or mail inquiry. Contact the entity requesting the information directly through a different method to verify that it is a reputable company and to confirm the request.

• When purchasing items or services online, make sure to research the seller and know his or her physical location.

• If making a charitable contribution, give to an organization that has a strong history in providing relief. Instead of paying in cash, make a check or money order payable to the organization, not an individual.

• If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Investigate the offer before accepting or paying any money.

For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge or call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982.