ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, in kicking off National Consumer Protection Week, released on Sunday his office's list of the top 10 consumer fraud complaints in the state in 2010.
The highest number of complaints his office received, he said, were Internet-related, closely followed by credit-related complaints involving debt collection, credit card billing and identity theft.
According to Schneiderman's office, it received 7,024 Internet complaints, including concerns about privacy issues, spyware and consumer frauds. The Attorney General's Office received a total of 5,455 credit complaints.
"Arming consumers with information is the best defense against frauds and abuses," Schneiderman said. "The crime scene of the 21st century is the Internet, and it is important for consumers to not only know their rights, but how to fight back.
"In addition to taking action against those who cheat New Yorkers, this office is an excellent resource that can help stop scams. I encourage New Yorkers to mark National Consumer Protection Week by learning how to recognize, avoid and report consumer frauds."
The following are the remaining complaints on the 2010 list:
- Consumer-related services, including security systems, restaurant/catering services and tech repairs -- 3,817 complaints;
- Automobile services, including buying, leasing, repair, service contracts and rentals -- 3,661 complaints;
- Landlord/tennant services, including residential repairs, deposit releases, and tennant harassment -- 2,009 complaints;
- Mortgage services, including mortgage and loan broker fraud and foreclosures -- 1,927 complaints;
- Retail sales, including any sale of goods, food, clothing or rent-to-own -- 1,634 complaints;
- Home repair and construction, including those services not delivered or done poorly -- 1,299 complaints;
- Mail order services, including those purchases made online or from a catalog -- 1,266 complaints; and
- Telecommunications, including phone cards, cell phone and pay-per-call services -- 1,202 complaints.
Schneiderman said he plans to announce a series of actions taken to protect state consumers from scams in the coming days.
However, in addition to being vigilant consumers, the attorney general said residents should continue to report all instances of fraud to his office.
"It's critical that frauds are reported to the authorities so that we can hold wrongdoers accountable, limit their damage, and protect consumers," he added.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.