JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster warned Missouri consumers on Wednesday that scam artists are contacting state residents by telephone and mail, falsely claiming that they have won cash prizes.
The scam artists tell Missourians that they have won cash prizes of more than $1 million and claim that the recipients must pay fees and taxes to multiple government agencies to collect the prize. The letters are sent using official-looking letterhead from agencies such as Koster's office but are not legitimate.
"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."
The letters appear to be from government agencies, including Koster's office, the FBI, the IRS and the Department of Justice. One letter claims that because of the laws in Missouri, 50 percent of the revenue tax must be submitted within three to five days of the prize notification date. The letters state how much money the consumer should pay and make reference to a law that does not exist in the state of Missouri.