Missouri’s attorney general warned Wednesday afternoon in Jefferson City that scams targeting seniors are increasing, including the “IRS” and sweepstakes scams.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt spoke to about 50 seniors Wednesday at Heisinger Bluffs, urging them to be on the lookout.

“Preying upon people’s vulnerabilities, a grandchild in trouble or if they don’t pay the money, they (seniors) are going to be thrown in jail,” Schmitt says. “We want people to be armed with the information number one and number two, let us know.”

Schmitt urges seniors and other Missourians to report scams to his office’s Consumer Protection Hotline, which is 1-800-392-8222. He says the Consumer Protection division receives about 100,000 complaints about fraud and scams each year.

One Jefferson City resident at Heisinger worried that he’ll be charged a “fee” if he contacts Schmitt’s office. The attorney general tells the audience there are no fees.

“That’s what we’re there for, and it’s a core mission of our office to look out for consumers,” says Schmitt.

He says the “IRS scam” has been increasing, reminding seniors that the IRS will never contact you by phone, only by mail. Schmitt also reminds seniors to never give their social security number to people who call them.

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin attended Wednesday’s presentation. She told the audience that scammers have also called people impersonating utilities such as Ameren Missouri and “Jefferson City Utilities,” adding that the caller ID makes it look legitimate. Mayor Tergin urges seniors to be cautious, noting she’s received scam calls as well.

Attorney General Schmitt will travel to southeast Missouri’s Cape Girardeau to meet with seniors at the Chateau Girardeau Thursday afternoon at 1.

Click here to listen to the full conversation between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, which was recorded on October 23, 2019 at Heisinger Bluffs in Jefferson City:

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