TOPEKA – (July 19, 2017) – The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division returned more than $16 million to consumers and taxpayers last year, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
In its annual report filed today with the governor and Kansas Legislature, Schmidt’s office reported $16.8 million in savings and recoveries to Kansas consumers and the state treasury in calendar year 2016. During Schmidt’s administration, the division has recovered a total of more than $146 million, by far the most in state history.
“We are proud of the work our consumer protection team does every day to protect Kansans from fraud, scams and rip-offs,” Schmidt said. “While these recoveries are significant, what’s more important is that we were able to return to Kansas consumers their money that was wrongfully taken from them, no matter the amount. Preventive measures such as education and outreach can help consumers to protect themselves and avoid becoming a victim.”
The office also continued its efforts to educate Kansas consumers on ways to avoid scams. Schmidt and his staff made 96 presentations on topics such as identity theft and scam prevention. The consumer protection website, www.InYourCornerKansas.org, provides a user-friendly way for Kansas consumers to learn how to protect themselves and file complaints and was viewed by more than 32,000 unique users in 2016.
The Consumer Protection Division is led by Deputy Attorney General Jim Welch. Special Agent in Charge Tonya Hutchings leads the team of investigators. Schmidt is a former assistant attorney general for consumer protection, a position he held during the administration of former Attorney General Carla Stovall.
The 2016 Consumer Protection Annual Report is available online at http://bit.ly/2tqwcEu.