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Kansas attorney general unveils initiative to better help scam victims

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett (left) and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Kansas attorney general unveils initiative to better help scam victims

By Kyle McCaskey. CREATED Oct 29, 2013

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt knows some laws can be convoluted and lengthy. He said there is no reason for someone to try to read through the Lemon Law or the Consumer Protection Act to find resolution.

"That's not something Kansans ought to be worried about if they've been ripped off," Schmidt said. "They ought to be worried about, 'Where do I go to ask somebody who can help me?'"

Schmidt's new initiative hopes to curb that. The attorney general's office launched to provide better information to those searching for it. 

Schmidt said he borrowed the idea from the attorney general in Arkansas. 'Got Your Back Arkansas' has provided better understanding and accessibility, he said. 

One feature of the Kansas site offers direction as to which agency a person needs to go through to submit a crime. 

"The number of complaints we historically receive is about 7,000, statewide. This last year, we were down into the 4,000s," Schmidt said. "The explanation for that is a significant number of folks who had previously filed complaints with our office - because that's all they could think of in terms of where they might want to go to help - have been assisted by a screening process we implemented on the front end." 

The site also provides updates on the latest scam trends. 

One that is still popular is the grandparents scam. A crook will pretend to be a relative of an elderly person. The criminal will convince that person to send them money for a made-up emergency. 

"The reason it is still there is because it's still working," Schmidt said. 

Door-to-door home improvement scams are also prevalent. 

"We recognize that far more people, far more citizens, are affected by these types of crimes," said Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett.

Bennett and Schmidt announced the 'In Your Corner Kansas' initiative Tuesday in Wichita.