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AG warns of dangers of scams

From cars to houses and work to leisure, consumers spend big bucks each year for necessities and luxuries. Unfortunately, many fraudsters ply their trade wreaking havoc on these shoppers.

In fact, Americans lost $174 million to scams in 2020 alone, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Attorney General Landry wants to use this week, National Consumer Protection Week, as a time to help Louisiana consumers from falling victim to scammers.

“Education is the most critical component to fighting fraud,” Landry said. “This annual awareness week is a great time to learn more about common scams and the ways to guard against them.”

Landry listed the following as red flags for scams:

  • The solicitor says you must act immediately. Legitimate businesses do not pressure you to act until you have thoroughly reviewed the offer.
  • The solicitor refuses to give or send you written information. Legitimate businesses are more than willing to send you information about their products and services.
  • The solicitor is asking for a donation but will not answer how your gift will be used. Legitimate charitable organizations will send you information about their organization before you donate.
  • The solicitor asks for your Social Security number. Legitimate businesses do not ask for this type of information unless you are applying for credit.
  • The solicitor asks for your financial information. Never give out your credit card number or bank account number unless you have an established relationship with the business.

To combat these unscrupulous actors, Landry encouraged Louisiana to follow some simple tips:

  • Be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true.
  • Avoid high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Ask questions and get agreements in writing.
  • Ignore “once in a lifetime” offers.
  • Do not give cash, wire money, or send prepaid money cards to strangers.

“My office and I will continue to provide tools and resources to protect our State’s consumers,” Landry said. “As we do so, I encourage the public to help us by reporting suspected consumer fraud to my Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889 and the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 877-382-4357.”

Louisiana residents may find more consumer safety tips at www.agjefflandry.com.