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NY Attorney General Reveals Biggest Consumer Scams Of 2010

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman marked National Consumer Protection Week by releasing New York’s top 10 frauds of 2010 on Sunday.

Schneiderman said he will unveil a series of consumer-based announcements in the coming days as part of Consumer Protection Week, including tips to beat scams like Internet and credit issues, the top two frauds.

“Arming consumers with information is the best defense against frauds and abuses,” he 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.”

Schneiderman’s office analyzed the consumer complaints received statewide in 2010, and the highest number of complaints were Internet-related. Those were closely followed by credit-related complaints including debt collection, credit car billing and identity theft.

New York Attorney General’s Office Top 10 Consumer Complaints:

  1. Internet (7,024 complaints): privacy issues, spyware and consumer frauds
  2. Credit (5,455): debt collection, credit card billing, debt settlement
  3. Consumer-Related Services (3,817): security systems, restaurant/catering services, tech repairs
  4. Automobile (3,661): buying, leasing, repair, service contracts, rentals
  5. Landlord/Tenant (2,009): residential repairs, deposit releases, tenant harassment
  6. Mortgage (1,927): mortgage and loan broker fraud, foreclosures
  7. Retail Sales (1,364): any sale of goods (food, clothing, rent-to-own)
  8. Home Repair/Construction (1,299): home improvement services not delivered or done poorly
  9. Mail Order (1,266): purchases made online or from a catalog
  10. Telecommunications (1,202): phone cards, cellular services, pay-per-call

Attorney General Schneiderman reminded New Yorkers that in addition to being vigilant consumers, they should also report instances of fraud to his office.

“Our top ten list reflects the complaints filed by New Yorkers across the state, which helped our investigators and attorneys stop scam artists in their tracks,” Attorney General Schneiderman added. “It’s critical that frauds are reported to the authorities so that we can hold wrongdoers accountable, limit their damage, and protect consumers.”

Attorney General Schneiderman also provided a list of tips all consumers should use to protect themselves and their families. For more on those tips, click here.

Consumers are also encouraged to file complaints by visiting the Attorney General’s Office website or by calling 1-800-771-7755.