Scams across Missouri affecting thousands

POSTED: 05:51 PM CST Dec 27, 2013 
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

Christmas may be over, but that doesn't mean that the scams are.

Annually in the United States, nearly $200 million is lost in credit card scams alone.

In Missouri last year the Attorney General's Office received hundreds of thousands of calls reporting scams.

Each working day there are more than 200 scam-related complaints to the Attorney General's office.  That is twice as many as two years ago.

The Attorney General's Office said the past year they have seen everything from debt collectors, phone solicitors, cable services, and auto repair scams.

Friday, there is a new one seen in Columbia. It is a man claiming to be a Microsoft technician.

Pamela Tillotson woke up to a phone call last week from a man who she could barely understand saying that she was in trouble.

 "He said, 'Well we've got some disturbing information- we've gotten some info that people are trying to get your personal information our of your computer via because you've been using google and shopping online'", said Tillotson.

Using the popular search engine's like Google and shopping online are two common online activities for an average American. However, some could be fooled because the scammer was trying to personalize the problem.

Tillotson told ABC 17 News she knew right away the New Jersey caller was not really a Microsoft technician. That is because she owns a Mac.

Last year's, Missouri's Attorney General's Office annual report it said the office had nearly 125,000 reported scams in the state.

Nationally the biggest target for these scams are the elderly.

"I think the elderly are probably a little bit more at risk - the ones that don't use the computer as often," said Tillotson.

According to a Virgina Tech study, older Americans lose nearly $3 million a year in scams.