The state of Missouri has unwillingly become "the Silicon Valley for auto service contract scams." At least that's how the state's attorney general sees it.
Why Missouri? State officials say a couple of businesses several years ago took a new approach to selling auto service contracts -- directly to the consumer instead of through a dealership.
The no-middleman concept did so well and made so much money, it inspired a lot of imitators, officials said. "A couple of them really took off," said state Sen. Scott Rupp, of Wentzville.
"Employees from those companies left to go off and start their own companies. They're all around the St. Louis area, I guess, because they didn't want to relocate."
Rupp is a member of a state task force that's considering stricter regulations for the sale of auto service contracts.