The attorney general has the responsibility of protecting the public's interests in an open and honest marketplace. The Consumer Protection Division enforces Missouri's Consumer Protection Act and antitrust laws and has the responsibility of representing the commissioner of securities of the Secretary of State's Office.
Missouri's consumer protection statutes prohibit deception, fraud and misrepresentation or concealment of material facts in the sale or advertisement of goods or services. These laws also authorize the attorney general to stop the promotion of pyramid sales schemes, prevent the altering of vehicle odometers and ensure that consumers' rights are protected under laws dealing with home solicitations. The division also has an active consumer education program that provides several publications.
Consumers who want to file a consumer complaint can fill out a consumer complaint form. Consumers can obtain information by e-mailing us. Consumers also may call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222.
In 2007, consumer protection attorneys and staff returned more than $22.2 million in restitution for consumers, penalties for the state, and payments to help further consumer protection and education efforts in Missouri. That amount included a record $9.3 million returned directly to consumers through informal mediation.
Under the Missouri Antitrust Law, the attorney general has the authority to represent the state or any of its political subdivisions, public agencies, school districts or municipalities in actions to prohibit monopolies and trade restraints. The attorney general also may act under federal antitrust statutes to bring civil actions in the name of the state and on behalf of Missouri residents to recover damages for injuries caused by certain antitrust violations.
The attorney general is the state's chief prosecutor for securities fraud, and may initiate legal actions for civil injunctive relief, penalties and restitution under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Law.
For more information, please see the Consumer Protection Division's frequently asked questions page.