Madigan visits to talk fraud

 Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan visited John A. Logan College on Saturday to talk to local organizations about consumer fraud.

Madigan took part in a roundtable discussion at the college and spoke at a news conference after, where she discussed fraud and what her office is doing to fight the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

The attorney general said in the last year there were more than 26,000 fraud cases filed at her office with 277,127 cases throughout the past 10 years. She said the largest fraud targets center around debt issues with other common cases being identity theft and telecommunication scams.

Madigan said it is important to get in touch with people from all over the state to help prepare them for consumer fraud. In addition to talking to organizations, she said her office often talks to groups of senior citizens as they are the most common target of scam artists.

The attorney general said one common scam against seniors is the “grandparent scam” where someone calls and tells the victim that a relative is in trouble and needs thousands of dollars wired to them to help them out. She said the first thing people should keep in mind is that they should never wire money to any-one they don’t know.

“If you are wiring money to a stranger it’s very unlikely we’re going to be able to get that money back,” Madigan said at the news conference.

Madigan said the problem of consumer fraud is prevalent throughout the state.

However, she said one crime Southern Illinois is having a particular problem is the manufacturing of methamphetamines.

“I would say in the last 10 to 15 years, Southern Illinois has had the worst problem,” Madigan said.

She said actions such as requiring the sell of pseudoephedrine behind counters has helped hurt the production but smaller operations have popped up, especially around the Missouri border because communities in the Show Me State have passed laws requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine used in making meth.

Madigan said her office is looking at how Illinois communities near the border can pass similar laws.

State Sen. John Bradley, D-Marion, lauded Madigan as the best attorney general in the country and said she has been a champion for the state in fighting issues such as consumer fraud and meth production.

“Every war needs a general and we have a general and her name is Lisa Madigan,” Bradley said.