Ken Paxton
Consumer Protection

Attorney General "Endorsement" Is Usually Bogus

Our office occasionally receives inquiries from consumers seeking to verify that we have endorsed a business, organization or solicitation. We are always glad to answer this question, and the answer is almost always no. Our office does not generally endorse businesses or organizations, programs or clubs. Attorney General Abbott privately supports various charitable causes, but he does not use his office to endorse them. He certainly does not endorse for-profit activities.

If someone attempting to sell you something states or suggests that a product or service has been "endorsed" or "approved" by Attorney General Abbott himself or his office, they are misrepresenting our policy against endorsing any such items, and the offer could very well be a scam.

Also, under various circumstances, our investigators contact individuals seeking information, usually about the practices of a business you may have complained about. You are welcome to call our office at (800) 252-8011 to verify that the person in question really is an Attorney General investigator if you have doubts, and our investigators will always be happy to wait while you contact us. The important thing to know is that OUR INVESTIGATORS WILL NEVER ASK FOR MONEY FROM YOU. If a person who claims to be from our office asks for money for any reason at all (such as a "sting"), you can be sure you are dealing with an imposter. Please let us know immediately.

ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.

Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.