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Missouri Consumer Fraud Guide

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2001
38 pages
This guide was designed by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to assist consumers in protecting themselves against fraud and asserting their consumer rights.
The nine sections in this guide educate consumers on common misconceptions about consumer laws and issues related to buying automobiles; home, phone, and solicitation issues; business and credit issues, insurance, and funeral issues; Internet fraud and privacy issues; and how to register a consumer complaint. The first section outlines the seven most common myths associated with consumer laws, while the second section discusses how to avoid consumer mistakes when buying a car and obtaining car repairs. The third section deals with landlord-tenant laws and issues related to the lease, security deposit, eviction, and discrimination. Overviews of home repair fraud, door-to-door sales schemes, and how to handle charitable donations are also included in the third section. The fourth section describes issues related to telephone fraud, such as telemarketing schemes and so-called “slamming and cramming” problems. The fifth section cautions consumers about fraudulent solicitation schemes, including bank examiner schemes, pyramid schemes, and travel scams. Business and credit fraud is the focus of the sixth section and covers such topics as work-at-home schemes and pigeon drop scams. The seventh section discusses fraud related to insurance and funerals, such as Medicare supplemental insurance fraud and pre-need funeral plans. The eighth section describes how to spot and avoid Internet fraud, with specific emphasis on how to protect oneself while shopping on-line and buying from on-line auctions. How to protect against the growing problem of identity theft is also included in section eight. Section nine details how to register consumer complaints. Contact information for relevant consumer agencies is provided. Finally, the guide lists additional consumer-oriented brochures offered by the Attorney General’s Office of Missouri.