The Missouri Attorney General’s office has an alert about telephone consumer scams. The office has receive recent reports of scam telephone calls appearing from the 202 area code.
Consumer complaints indicate scammers leave threatening voicemail messages urging the consumer to call back or face severe consequences. When consumers return the call they are asked to leave their name and number, whereupon their message is returned from a different 202 area code number. Attorney General Chris Koster said that scammers often claim to be from federal agencies, such as the IRS, purporting to collect an unpaid debt and demanding personal financial information.
While the scam calls appear to originate from a Washington D.C. area code, Koster warned that spoofing technology means the calls are frequently placed by scammers operating overseas.
“These types of telephone scams prey upon Missouri consumers, often the elderly, using high-pressure tactics to obtain personal financial information,” said Koster. “We want to make sure Missourians know about these scams and ask them to report scam calls to my office.”
Koster advised Missouri consumers to:
• Never give personal information to unknown persons over the phone or electronically.
• Be suspicious of unsolicited telephone calls, voice messages or emails.
• Do not return unsolicited voice messages from suspicious callers.
• Never wire or send money in response to an unknown caller’s demand.
Missouri consumers who receive a scam telephone call from a 202 area code should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or file a complaint online here.