Alabama AG: Prosecuting scammers remains legal challenge

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 8:43 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2022 at 10:21 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The process of prosecuting scammers can be a lengthy one, but Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall explained the harsh reality is many of criminals get away unscathed.

“Those who engage in this behavior typically do not live in the jurisdiction of the state of Alabama,” Marshall said. “Many of them don’t live in the continental United States.”

That makes it incredibly difficult for law enforcement to recover the victim’s money and to hold these culprits accountable.

“The ability to prevent it from taking place to begin with is the key component for us in trying to make sure that people don’t fall victims to these crimes,” he said.

Crooks are calling people, pretending to be government agencies. They may ask you for money and threaten to arrest you.

Scammers are also calling grandparents, claiming their grandchild is in jail and requesting their bail be paid. Marshall explained these calls are fraudulent and prey on vulnerable people.

The attorney general’s office is taking action through its Consumer Protection Division. People can submit a complaint form online for help from a consumer specialist. You can also call 1-800-392-5658 or 334-242-7335.

Right now, the attorney general says they are receiving 15 to 20 calls a week.

“Individuals who are calling to tell us really sad stories of where they have become the victim of fraud,” Marshall said.

If you see money moving out of your bank account, Marshall recommends contacting your bank immediately then filling out a police report.

If you have already given away private information, like your social security number, the attorney general says to submit a fraud report to the Federal Trade Commission to be put on a national registry.

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