TOPEKA – (May 21, 2018) – The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division recovered a record $61 million for consumers and taxpayers last year, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
In its annual report filed today with the governor and legislature, Schmidt’s office reported nearly $61.9 million in savings and recoveries to Kansas consumers and the state treasury in calendar year 2017. During Schmidt’s administration, the division has recovered a total of more than $208 million, by far the most in state history. The 2017 recoveries surpassed the previous record year of 2013, when the division returned $49.6 million to consumers and taxpayers.
“The men and women in our Consumer Protection Division work every day to help Kansans who have been scammed, ripped off or defrauded,” Schmidt said. “That is one of the top priorities for our office. Some of our most satisfying work is returning to Kansans their own money that was wrongfully taken.”
The office also continued its efforts to educate Kansas consumers on ways to avoid scams. Schmidt and his staff participated in 102 public education events, including presentations to civic groups, providing information at county fairs and conducting a tele-townhall with Kansas AARP to advise consumers on the latest scams. 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 35,000 unique users in 2017.
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 2017 Consumer Protection Annual Report is available online at http://bit.ly/2IEoUVi.