January 27, 2005

Sheriff Warns Of Scams Seeking Personal Info

Scotland County Sheriff Wayne Winn is warning area residents to beware of ongoing computer and telemarketing scams that are asking recipients to reveal personal banking information.

The sheriff reported receiving complaints from local individuals about receiving phone calls and e-mail solicitations using a variety of false claims in attempts to get the listener or reader to reveal bank account numbers or credit card numbers.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office issues a consumer alert as soon as it learns about a scam. Missourians who suspect someone is trying to defraud them should e-mail the Consumer Protection Division (consumer@ago.mo.gov) or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222. They also should contact their local police or sheriff’s department.

In 2004 the AG’s office received more than 10,000 consumer complaints. Telephone slamming, cramming, billing and unauthorized long-distance services topped the list with 1,906 complaints. Home repair, remodeling and construction services was second on the list of complaints with 1,598 calls. Travel scams and timeshares; unsolicited faxes; finance; auto repair and warranty; credit; auto sales, odometer, title and towing; debt collectors; and sweepstakes or lotteries rounded out the top 10 list of complaints and inquiries.

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