Attorney General Chris Koster alerted Missouri consumers of recent reports of scam telephone calls appearing from the 202 area code.

Consumer complaints indicate scammers leave threatening voicemail messages urging the consumer to call back or face severe consequences. When consumers return the call they are asked to leave their name and number, whereupon their message is returned from a different 202 area code number.

Koster said that scammers often claim to be from federal agencies, such as the IRS, purporting to collect an unpaid debt and demanding personal financial information.

Koster advised Missouri consumers to:

Never give personal information to unknown persons over the phone or electronically.

Be suspicious of unsolicited telephone calls, voice messages or emails.

Do not return unsolicited voice messages from suspicious callers.

Never wire or send money in response to an unknown caller’s demand.

Missouri consumers who receive a scam telephone call from a 202 area code should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or file a complaint online at ago.mo.gov.