The Arkansas attorney general’s office notes that, while seniors aren’t the most targeted by scammers, they are the most vulnerable to being scammed.

In 2019, a U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing revealed that seniors were losing approximately $3 billion a year to financial scams, while an indeterminate number of scams go unreported.

In 2021, the Arkansas State Legislature passed the Safeguarding Against Financial Exploitation of Retirees for Arkansas, or Safer AR, Act. The act was intended to create a system of reporting involving financial institutions and investigative entities in order to protect seniors against financial predators.

Some of the most frequently attempted scams in Arkansas include family emergency scams, in which someone poses as a grandchild or friend of a grandchild requesting money because of an emergency; Medicare scams designed to extract personal information or that offer illegitimate, updated ID cards for a fee or use the names of fictitious companies; credit card robocalls; door-to-door sales and email scams with malicious software or attachments.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said her office is committed to educating seniors on how to recognize and avoid scams.

“It is heartbreaking to see Arkansas seniors targeted by scam artists who are looking to take advantage and steal life savings and I will continue to do everything in my power to protect Arkansans’ hard-earned savings,” Rutledge said. “By educating seniors face-to-face, we are teaching them how to be the first line of defense against these scam artists.”

The attorney general's office offers the following tips Arkansas seniors and caregivers can use to be aware of and defend against scams:


  • Do not answer a call from a number you don’t know. Return calls to numbers you can verify on a verified website, not necessarily the number left on the message.
  • Do not reply to unsolicited text messages and don’t click on the links in the message.
  • The family emergency scam involves the scammer pretending to be family members, particularly grandchildren, asking for money to help in an emergency. Hang up and make your own call to the grandchild in question or to another relative to confirm whether there is indeed an emergency.
  • Scammers will tell you that you have an unpaid utility balance and threaten to disconnect. They will pressure you to pay through a wire transfer or prepaid debit card and not through the official methods offered by the utility.


  • Immediately delete all suspicious emails, and never open email attachments or click on links from unknown sources.
  • Some emails pretend to be a known company and can contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the internet without your knowledge.
  • You cannot win a lottery or sweepstakes that you did not enter. Do not pay any money up front to collect your prize.


  • Never give out personal or banking information in response to a phone, email, or mail.
  • When contacted on Facebook messenger, do not send copies of your identification or driver’s license. They will be used in a scam.


Never send money to someone who you do not know and haven’t met in person.

It is always a scam if they ask you to pay with a prepaid credit card or gift card.

Know who you’re wiring money to. Be suspicious of any request that requires you to wire money to a stranger. Even if the request appears to come from or on behalf of a friend or relative, be skeptical. Wiring money is like giving cash away.


  • Seniors lose an average of $500 to $1,500 when scammed.
  • Seniors are 93% more likely than younger consumers to report fraud with no financial loss.
  • Romance scams cause the largest average losses, reaching an average $10,000 for ages
    70-79 and older.
  • Tech support scams are the most common kind of senior scam reported.
Sources:,, Arkansas attorney general's office