The attorney general in Missouri recently unveiled the most common consumer scams from 2010.
Attorney General Chris Koster's office reported that it had received more than 2,200 complaints from residents in the state regarding scams and harassment from debt collectors. Koster said that people had been complaining about abusive tactics from those in the collection agency, including making threats and refusing to stop calling even after the consumers had told them to stop contacting them. The top 10 complaints received on the attorney general's hotline were against debt collectors; unauthorized debit and credit card payments from telemarketers' charges on phone bills; mortgage or foreclosure modifications; home repair scammers; lottery and sweepstakes-related schemes; funeral-related inquiries; cable service price discrepancies; auto repair for unnecessary services and automobile warranty telemarketers. "Even though you may be responsible for [what] the debt collectors are calling about, there are federal laws governing just how far the debt collector can go," Koster said in a news release. "Your best protection against harassing and abusive calls from debt collectors is to know your rights." Koster made headlines when he successfully prosecuted a funeral home operator for fraud. Thomas Brandtonies Jr. was given a seven month sentence in state prison after admitting to stealing money from clients.