July 25, 2012
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today warned that scam artists are contacting Missourians by telephone and mail, telling them they have won cash prizes in excess of one million dollars, and claiming that the recipient must pay fees and taxes to several government agencies, including the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, to collect their prize.
According to Koster, the letters are sent on official-looking letterhead allegedly from government agencies including the FBI, the IRS, the Department of Justice and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. One of the letters claims that “due to the constitution and the legislation rights of the State of Missouri, the procedures require that 50% of the Revenue Tax should be submitted within 3-5 days of the actual notification date.” The letters include specific amounts the consumer should pay. The letter falsely attributed to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office makes reference to a law that does not exist in Missouri.
“These letters are fake, and we do not want any Missourians to fall for this scam,” Koster said. “We are warning Missourians not to send money to anyone who contacts you by mail or telephone without independently contacting the government agency to verify that the money is due.”
Koster said if consumers are ever in doubt as to whether a letter they receive is from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office or any other government agency they should contact his Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222.
NOTE: Attached is a copy of a letter provided to the Attorney General’s Office by a consumer who received it in the mail.