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    Attorney General Rutledge Supports SAFER AR Act


    March 31, 2021

    SAFER AR Act: Safeguarding Against Financial Exploitation of Retirees for Arkansans

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined Senator Jonathan Dismang and Representative Carlton Wing to introduce SAFER AR Act: Safeguarding Against Financial Exploitation of Retirees for Arkansans. This legislation will amend current law to strengthen the protection of seniors from predatory practices. Over the last three years, the number of cases involving scams or exploitation of Arkansans 60+ has quadrupled, but only a fraction of the cases are ever reported. This bill develops protocols between several state agencies and the Attorney General’s Office to make it possible for swifter action against con artists or caregivers engaging in fraud, exploitation, or abuse.

    “All too often Arkansans over the age of 60 are being targeted and exploited by scam artists trying to steal their life savings,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “My office regularly hears from families who become victims of this type of crime and I fully support this legislation to make is easy for financial institutions and others to report or delay fraudulent transactions.”

    This bill is designed to protect older loved ones and Arkansas veterans and to hold bad actors accountable. Currently, employees of financial institutions, brokers and investment advisors are all mandated reporters to report abuse, neglect, and exploitation of anyone over 18-years-old to Adult Protective Services (APS) at DHS. However, APS can only accept the case if the victim is impaired or endangered. Because of this, most financial exploitation cases reported to APS are not referred to any other agency. This bill requires APS, under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, to refer cases of suspected financial exploitation or exploitation to the Attorney General’s Office within 48 hours. The Attorney General’s Office, under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, will work to keep Arkansans’ money from going to bad actors.

    The lead sponsors are Senator Jonathan Dismang, District 28, and Representative Carlton Wing, District 38.

    For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Attorney General’s Office at consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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