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Missouri AG Bailey: Beware of cold weather-related scams

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(The Center Square) – Consumers in Missouri should beware of scams related to winter weather as the state remains in a deep freeze, according to the attorney general’s office.

“Whether it’s snow, ice or wind, scammers will use the weather conditions to take advantage of you,” Attorney General Andrew Bailey said in a statement. “The Attorney General’s Office works tirelessly to go after scammers who take advantage of consumers, and I want all Missourians to know that we are a resource if they need assistance.”

Common schemes to be on the lookout for, according to Bailey’s office, include scammers claiming they work for a utility company, contractor, or government agency showing up at residences and asking for payment before any work is completed.

The attorney general’s office recommends verifying businesses with the BBB, asking for referrals, and contacting the office’s hotline for any complaints to avoid being scammed.

Another common scam is someone asking for a Social Security number or credit card info in order to check if a victim qualifies for FEMA funds.

“My message to Missourians during this winter season is to stay vigilant. If the worst happens to you, we’re here to help,” Bailey said, noting the state’s consumer hotline is 800-392-8222.

Gov. Mike Parson on Friday issued an executive order activating the Missouri National Guard if needed for response to the ongoing cold temperatures. The order also waives some regulations for commercial vehicles delivering fuel for residential heating.

“Missourians should be proactive in their preparations and so too should state government,” the governor said in a statement.

Missourians are seeing single-digit temperatures across the state, with wind chills down to -30 expected into Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

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