Consumer protection work is at top of list for Arizona attorney general
PHOENIX — For all the work he has done putting away hardened criminals, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich finds more satisfaction in stopping those who trick and connive money from the unsuspecting.
“We’ve done (the state’s first) terrorism cases, we’ve doubled the number of cartel drug cases in Arizona but … our ability to go after the scammers, the crooks, the unscrupulous business owners is something that brings me a lot of pleasure in this job,” Brnovich said Tuesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
His office fielded more than 17,000 fraud complaints last year, he said, topping the previous year. Brnovich attributed the jump to “public awareness that they have places to go if they’ve been feeling they’ve been ripped off or scammed.”
That increased awareness likely got a boost from Arizona Consumer Protection Week, part of a national campaign. The current drive ends Saturday.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re vigilant,” Brnovich said.
The calls are unavoidable. Quick-buck hustlers have even called Brnovich’s home, claiming to be an IRS agent, and threatening him with an arrest warrant if he didn’t pay.
Another popular swindle is a voicemail or call from a supposed tech worker telling someone that his or her computer needed a security patch that required credit-card information.
“These are the two big takeaways: 1. If it’s too good to be true, it is. And 2, do not ever wire money or send money to anybody. You see this in sweepstakes scams, sometimes romance scams. … It’s a huge red flag,” Brnovich said.
“So much of your personal information is available on the web. …
“I hate to be pessimistic, but I think you need to assume the worst nowadays. As we like to say, trust but verify.”
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