What do I do if I have been the victim of consumer fraud?
If you have been conned, the first thing you must do is to act quickly! Contact local and state authorities and file a report. Call the Missouri Attorney General's hotline (1-800-392-8222) and let them know what has happened. You may find that you are not alone and that several others have fallen victim to the same scam as you. Report the con to the National Fraud Information Center (1-800-876-7060). If mail was involved, contact the local postal inspector. Finally, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Though the Better Business Bureau cannot help you get your money back or press charges, by placing a report on file with them, you may help others from being scammed by a fraudulent seller.
Most people are embarrassed that they have fallen victim
to a scam, and therefore, have a tendency to not report what
has happened to them. However, someone committing fraud
cannot be stopped if you do not contact the authorities.
They will continue cheating innocent people until someone
reports them. It is also highly likely that you are not
alone. If you have been cheated, others probably have been
as well. Until someone takes action, the person committing
fraud will not be stopped. Your report could be the one that
ends a scam in your area.
Brenda Procter, M.S., State Specialist &
Personal Financial Planning, University of Missouri-Extension
Last update: Saturday, April 22, 2006