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Top 10 statewide and local consumer complaints announced as part of Consumer Protection Week

By SPENCER DAVIDSON

NEW YORK (WKTV) - With National Consumer Protection Week upon us, NYS Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, released the list of the top 10 consumer fraud complaints received throughout the state in 2013, Thursday.

Schneiderman also committed to making sure that every necessary action will be taken in order to make sure that these fraudulent services are no longer a possibility for consumers to worry about.

"My office will use every legal tool at our disposal to hold fraudsters and unscrupulous businesses accountable, and to protect consumers from their deceptive practices," he said. "I encourage all New Yorkers who feel they have been victims of fraud to contact my office and take all necessary precautions to prevent scams before they start."

The list of the top 10 statewide consumer complaints is as followed:

# Category Number of Complaints
1 Internet (privacy issues, spyware, etc.) 4,753
2 Automobile (buying, leasing, repair, rentals, etc.) 2,614
3 Credit (debt collection, credit card billing, identity theft, etc.) 2,295
4 Consumer-Related Services (security systems, tech repairs, dating services, etc.) 2,158
5 Mortgage (modifications, loan broker fraud, foreclosures) 1,748
6 Landlord/Tenant (deposit releases, tenant harassment) 1,733
7 Furniture/Major Household Appliances 1,168
8 Home Repair/Construction (home improvement services not delivered or done poorly) 995
9 Retail Sales (any sale of goods, clothing, rent to own, etc.) 913
10 Mail Order (purchases made online or from a catalog) 816

 

These numbers are only the number of complaints that were provided directly to the Attorney General's office, meaning that the number of unreported cases could result in a much larger amount for each category.

Following the release of this list, another list was provided to show the Top 5 consumer complaints in the Central New York region alone.

This list reflects a slightly different trend of issues, and can be used as a comparison of the top complaints statewide, to reflect how our region differs from that of the state as a whole:

# Category Number of Complaints
1 Home Improvement Contractors/Home Repair/Construction 100
2 Consumer-Related Services 50
3 Landlord Tenant/Rent Security Deposits 47
4 Furniture/Major Household Appliances 35
5 Automobile sales (used) 28

 

These trends do show slight differences in the most widespread consumer problems between the state and local levels.

However, while the categories may be in different spots on the lists, both the state and local complaints do contain the same categories listed, making those a major priority to look out for.

If you believe that you have become a victim of fraudulent business or services, then the Attorney General advises you to call the Homeowner Protection Program at 1-855-HOME-456.

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