Ken Paxton
Consumer Protection

Scam Artist Impersonates Attorney General Employee

Our office has been notified by the Farmer's Branch Police Department that a con artist posed as an employee of my office in an attempt to defraud a consumer. The imposter claimed to be paying a large award (more than $150,000) from an unspecified court case and demanded a "fee" up front, supposedly for taxes.

Under no circumstances does a representative of the Office of the Attorney General solicit payments from consumers for restitution from court cases. Any person claiming to be from this agency who holds out an offer of a cash award for a fee is an imposter. If you receive a contact of this type, please call us toll-free at (800) 252-8011 or email us at

Our office occasionally is able to obtain cash settlements and restitution for consumers in lawsuits. You would normally be aware of the lawsuit and would have filed a consumer complaint with us. In any case, you would not be required to pay a fee to receive restitution due to you. The large amount of money is also a clue. When our office obtains restitution from a lawsuit, the amount would be no more than an amount you had paid and lost in a consumer transaction, usually in the hundreds of dollars at most, more often less.

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.