February 2, 2007
Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon is kicking off National Consumer Protection Week (Feb. 4-10) by offering several new online tools and resources for Missouri consumers. Nixon's Web site will feature the Consumer Corner, a comprehensive reference consumers can use when making buying decisions, checking out a business offer or trying to spot a scam.
Consumer Corner features a searchable encyclopedia of consumer topics, with samples scams in many cases. For example, a search for “cashier's check” will display a definition, potential pitfalls and samples of bogus checks. Consumers will also find calculators to help with everything from retirement planning to paying off debt to understanding the risks involved with a payday loan. Two quizzes will allow consumers to test their knowledge about fraud and identity theft.
“Consumers more and more are turning to the Internet to educate and protect themselves,” Nixon said. “While our office has great success recovering money for consumers who've been defrauded, the best weapon in the fight against fraud is education. With these online tools, Missourians can be better prepared to make good financial decisions, avoid rip-offs and protect their identity.”
Nixon's office in 2006 took more than 90,000 consumer complaints and inquiries. Many of the inquiries were from consumers asking for information about scams, solicitations and other offers. The Consumer Corner site will offer answers to many of those questions.
Nixon also announced a new publication from his office called Know Your Rights - A Missouri Consumer Guide. The 35-page color brochure covers a variety of consumer topics from identity theft to scams to home repair fraud to cell phone purchasing. Know Your Rights can be ordered for free at Nixon's Web site, ago.mo.gov or by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222. The publication can also be downloaded in its entirety from the Web site.