Attorney General Chris Koster warned Missourians of two scams involving individuals impersonating employees of the Missouri Attorney General’s office or other law enforcement or state attorneys’ general offices.
In one scam, callers fraudulently claiming to be from the Attorney General’s Office tell consumers that they owe a debt. The callers then demand that the individuals pay the debt immediately, threatening arrest unless the individual provides payment. Consumers reporting calls to the Attorney General’s Office complain of high-pressure tactics and strong language being used to get the consumers to pay.
In the second scam, callers claim they are from a Loss Prevention Unit or Loss Refund Division of a law enforcement agency or Attorney General’s Office, stating individuals are entitled to a refund. In order to sound official, the caller offers a badge number. Consumers report being asked for a credit card number in order to place the refund directly into the consumer’s credit card account. Once the credit card information is given, fraudulent charges begin to appear on the consumer’s account.
Debt collection scams have been prevalent in recent years and scammers continually invent new techniques to try to fool people into giving out personal financial information or social security numbers.
Koster advises Missouri consumers to protect themselves:
• The Attorney General’s Office never requires advance fees, “taxes” or charges of any kind to process settlements or issue restitution.
• Consumers should never give out personal or financial information over the phone, especially when you do not know who the person is.
• If in doubt, contact the Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 for advice.