The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has moved Missouri toward a more fair, open, and honest marketplace since the adoption of Missouri's Merchandising Practices Act 45 years ago. The Division seeks to ensure that everyone – businesses and consumers alike – has the opportunity to operate in a marketplace that is free of fraud, deception, misrepresentations, false promises, unfair practices, and unfair competition. The Division also serves a vital role in enforcing Missouri’s antitrust, securities, telemarketing, nonprofit, charitable trust, and foundation laws.
In 2013, approximately 150,000 consumers filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. If you would like to file a complaint regarding fraud or deception, click or call (800) 392-8222. The Division has a team of advocates who mediate many of these complaints between the consumer and the business or seller. Each year the Division settles thousands of disputes through this informal process.
In addition to having the lawful authority to initiate both civil and criminal prosecutions against wrongdoers, the Attorney General is responsible for investigating unfair and deceptive business practices. Our investigators receive and review complaints, assist in issuing pre-litigation subpoenas, assist in search warrant applications, and otherwise prepare for trials.
One area that the Division focuses on is enforcing the Do Not Call and telemarketing laws. The Do Not Call list prevents telephone solicitations from nearly 200 telemarketers to over 4 million numbers. Enforcement actions continue against telemarketers who do not abide by the law though our No-Call unit. If you would like to sign up to be on the Do Not Call list click or call 866-662-2551. If you are already on the list and would like to file a complaint against unwanted telemarketing calls, click or call BUZZ OFF (866-289-9663).
The Attorney General’s Office believes the best way to prevent fraud and unfair practices in the marketplace is to have informed consumers. The Division works to educate consumers in a variety of ways including an online database of consumer complaints at Know MO; publications regarding a variety of consumer issues; and regular appearances at schools, community centers, and other educational forums.