Rutledge file lawsuit against Indiana man for online rental property scam
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today she is filing a lawsuit against Samuel A. Purvis of Indianapolis, Indiana for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices (ADTPA).
The lawsuit, which was filed in Pulaski County, alleges Purvis used information found from actual rental property listings in Searcy, Rogers and Fairfield Bay to create fake online listings that deceived Arkansas consumers looking for homes.
Purvis swindled almost $5,000 from Arkansas consumers in just one month.
“Illegal schemes run by out-of-state scam artists have not been and will not be tolerated in Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans looking to rent property should be leery of anyone, like Purvis, who wants to do business only online, won't speak on the phone and demands a deposit without seeing the property.”
Purvis used online advertisements to lure would-be renters in with promises of low rent, great amenities, or discounts for “signing the lease today.”
In April 2020, Arkansas consumers corresponded with and agreed to a lease with Purvis, using the name Daniel Linyard, for properties he did not own or have authority to lease. Purvis’ scam began in January 2020, just as the nation was faced with the coronavirus pandemic and businesses initiated COVID-19 protocols limiting face-to-face transactions.
While it is important to abide by CDC recommendations to protect from COVID-19, consumers must remain vigilant in conducting business online.
Rutledge is now seeking restitution for harmed consumers, civil penalties, an injunction and other costs and fees incurred by the State of Arkansas in resolving this issue for consumers.
If you are a consumer who has been impacted by similar actions, Rutledge encourages you to contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.